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Links between diet and Coronary Heart Disease

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Introduction

Links between diet and Coronary Heart Disease Coronary heart disease is a disease of the arteries that causes damage to, or malfunction of, the heart. It is the biggest killer in Britain and is also the most expensive illness in the country. When atherosclerosis - the accumulation of fatty material, calcium and plaque (which is like a firm shell with a soft inner core containing cholesterol and as blood hits it, the plaque may crack open and expose its inner cholesterol core, which promotes blood clotting) in artery walls - occurs in the lining of the coronary arteries they become narrow, restricting the flow of blood. ...read more.

Middle

* Heart attack - (Also known as myocardial infraction). This is when a large branch of the coronary artery is blocked by a blood clot which causes a severe shortage of oxygen to part of the heart muscle, which therefore dies. This causes sudden and severe pain and could be fatal unless treated immediately. * Heart failure - This is when the heart weakens and fails to pump efficiently due to a blockage of a main coronary artery. People with high levels of saturated fat and cholesterol in their diet tend to have high blood cholesterol levels. Saturated fats are typically animal fats that are solid at normal room temperature and include dairy products like milk and butter. ...read more.

Conclusion

The result is an increased pressure in the arteries as well as strain on the heart to maintain adequate blood flow throughout the body. Because of its high calorie content, too much dietary fat also increases the risk of heart disease in that it increases the likelihood that a person will become obese, which is another risk factor for heart disease because more strain is put on the heart and blood pressure rises. High Salt intake also increases the risk of heart disease. The risk of heart disease decreases with high intake of antioxidants (such as vitamin E and C found mostly in fruit and vegetables) because they protect artery walls against atherosclerosis. It is also thought that soluble fibre lowers blood cholesterol by binding bile acids (which are made from cholesterol to digest dietary fats) and then excreting them. ...read more.

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