Heart Disease

Information, Symptoms, Treatments and Resources


Worst Foods for High Cholesterol

Cholesterol Clogs Your Arteries

Cholesterol Clogs Your Arteries

Cholesterol, a waxy, fat-like substance found in your body and many foods, can build up in your blood vessels, hardening them (a condition called atherosclerosis) and putting you at risk for heart disease and stroke. Like its sidekick high blood pressure, high cholesterol has no symptoms so you can’t feel your arteries clogging. Make it a habit to get your levels checked regularly. If you’ve been diagnosed with high total cholesterol (defined as 240 mg/dL and above; optimal total cholesterol is lower than 200 mg/dL.), your doctor may recommend diet and lifestyle changes (including getting more exercise), along with cholesterol-lowering medications such as statins, to get your levels back on track.

Attribution: Pictured above: High cholesterol can cause fat deposits to collect on blood vessel walls (arterial plaque) which clog the arteries and can lead to heart disease and heart attack.
By Nicole Ferring Holovach, MS, RD, published August 16, 2011. Last reviewed by Enoch Choi, MD, on February 23, 2012. Nicole is a Washington, DC-based nutrition communications professional, writer, and yoga teacher. She blogs about holistic health at www.WholeHealthRD.com.