Fats that are solid in a cool kitchen – butter, lard, the fat on pork or lamb chops, or fat in beef joints – push up the cholesterol levels most easily. These fats are called saturated fats. Fats that are liquid or semi liquid – olive oil, vegetable oils, fish oils, and liquid margarines – are less harmful; these are unsaturated fats.

The simple message is: eat less fat.

When you do use fat, choose unsaturated fats and select lean cuts of meat. This is a message that has helped to cut deaths from heart disease in the US from 286 per 100,000 in 1960 to 183 per 100,000 in 1984, a significant reduction.

High Cholesterol

Avoiding Health Hazards
What precautions can you take to stay healthy well into old age? Many people have a fatalistic attitude about their health, believing that, “If an accident doesn’t get me, some disease will, regardless of what I do.” However, a look at the statistics for the causes of death in the US makes it abundantly clear that your fate is not entirely “in the lap of the gods.” There are several important choices you can make to protect yourself against potential sources of harm.

Causes of Death
Up to the age of 44, injury is the leading cause of death and disability in the US. Motor vehicle accidents cause about 35,000 deaths each year in this age group, and violent homicides account for about 12,000 deaths, most caused by gunshot wounds. There are 12,000 suicides, half of which are committed with firearms, making suicide the third main cause of death in young people.

What Can Be Done?
There are several ways in which these alarming figures can be reduced.

First, wearing seat belts has been shown conclusively to reduce the risk of death or serious injury for the drivers and passengers of motor vehicles; for motorcyclists and horseback riders, protective headgear is just as important.

Second, alcohol is an important factor in traffic accidents and violence, and half of the 5,000 or so drownings a year in the US are alcohol related. Alcohol should not be consumed by anyone intending to drive or swim.

Third, the involvement of firearms in more than 30,000 deaths of all ages annually has its own message: do not keep a firearm at home. Most of these deaths were either suicides or the result of domestic quarrels; those who died were victims of their own weapons. If you choose to own firearms for hunting, make sure they are locked securely in a suitable storage cabinet.