Heart disease kills about a half-million people every year in the United States. It begins with the clogging of the arteries - which is called atherosclerosis.
When there is too much saturated fat and trans fat in the bloodstream, it sticks to the walls, which narrows the passageway that blood must travel through
That narrowing alerts the body that something is wrong, which triggers the immune system to release chemicals to try to fix the problem. That complicates matters, however, because the chemicals make the artery walls even stickier and then more substances get stuck there.
Calcium and proteins in the blood join the fats that are clogging the arteries and the reaction creates a material called plaque.