Misinformation about Dietary Cholesterol

A major UK grocery chain spokesman is quoted saying, “heart disease … is primarily caused by bad diets with food too high in cholesterol which clog the arteries.”

Dietary cholesterol and the cholesterol in your arteries are not exactly the same thing, and diets high in the former do not directly cause an increase in the latter. Dietary fats (specifically saturated and trans fats) are a greater risk factor for heart disease, because they increase the amount of LDL cholesterol in the blood, which is known to form cholesterol deposits (plaques) in the arteries that can eventually block blood flow. Lack of fiber in the diet allows this condition to progress even faster (as does lack of exercise and other lifestyle habits).

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