Lowering Your Blood Cholesterol

Lowering Your Blood Cholesterol: Glossary

Antioxidants: Substances in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds that can help prevent or slow build up of cholesterol and other fat-like substances in the arteries. Vitamins C and E and beta-carotene are all antioxidants that help protect against heart disease.

Atherosclerosis: A thickening and hardening of the arteries caused by deposits of cholesterol and other fat-like substances in the lining of the blood vessels.

Body mass index (BMI): A formula used to expresses body weight in relation to height. BMI equals weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared.

Cholesterol: A fat-like substance that can deposit on the artery wall, narrowing or blocking blood flow.

Familial hypercholesterolemia: When very high blood cholesterol levels run in the family.

Heart attack: Sudden closure or blockage of one or more blood vessels to the heart, causing damage to the part of the heart.

High-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL cholesterol): A good type of cholesterol that helps the body get rid of bad types of cholesterol.

Hormones: Chemicals produced by an organ or part of the body and carried in the bloodstream to another organ or body part to affect its function; different hormones have difference effects on the body.

Hydrogenation: A process in which vegetable oils have been artificially hardened, making them more like a saturated fat

Hypercholesterolemia: High blood cholesterol levels.

Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL cholesterol): A bad type of cholesterol that tends to deposit in the artery wall and narrow or block in the artery.

Maximum heart rate: The fastest your heart can beat, estimated by subtracting your age in years from 220.

Plaque: A build up of cholesterol and other fat-like substances covered with scar tissue on the inner wall of the blood vessels.

Soluble fiber: The type of fiber that can help reduce blood cholesterol levels. Foods such as oat bran, dried beans, and some fruits are high in soluble fiber.

Triglycerides: Another type of blood fat that can also block blood vessels and lead to heart disease.

Very-low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL cholesterol): A type of cholesterol that transports triglycerides in the blood. Some VLDL cholesterol is converted into LDL cholesterol, a bad type of cholesterol that tends to deposit in the blood vessels.

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