Medically referred to as a lipid disorder, high blood cholesterol can cause atherosclerosis, which is a disorder in which the inner lining of the arteries thickens and hardens resulting in fat buildup. Atherosclerosis is responsible for coronary heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
The body produces different cholesterol types, not all of them bad. In fact, the body requires a small amount of cholesterol in order to function properly and is necessary for producing hormones, vitamin D, and the bile acids that break down fat.
LDL (Low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol is the cholesterol that is considered "bad" and is affected by diet. Your body produces LDL naturally, but certain dietary fats can also increase LDL including saturated fats, Trans fatty acids, and dietary cholesterol.
HDL (High-density lipoprotein) cholesterol is the "good" cholesterol and helps the body eliminate the bad cholesterol
How Does Saturated Fat Affect Blood Cholesterol?
According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, eating just one meal high in saturated fats affects the body's HDL, which works to protect the arteries from plaque build-up. It also affects the arteries' ability to expand without which they are unable to efficiently carry blood throughout the body.
Is There an Alternative?
According to a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health, simply replacing the saturated fats in your diet with polyunsaturated fats, such as those found in vegetable oils like corn, safflower or soybean, can decrease your risk of coronary heart disease by 19%.