Define: Cholesterol

Define: Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that’s found in every one of your cells in your body. Your body’s liver actually makes all the cholesterol it needs and your body does need cholesterol to work efficiently and to have good health. The purpose of cholesterol is to make vitamin D, hormones, and substances that help your body digest foods.

  • Cholesterol is also found in foods, most commonly in meats and dairy products. Eating too much meat, dairy, processed foods, and deep-fried foods can cause high cholesterol and also some genetics can cause high cholesterol. You want to control your cholesterol so you don’t get excess LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol which is a build-up of plaque in the small arteries of your heart.
  • If you have high blood pressure you should reduce eating fatty meats, dairy, processed food, and deep-fried foods, reduce your alcohol intake, stay away from trans fats, eat more fiber and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids
  • You might want to focused on more of a plant-based diet if you suffer from high cholesterol or LDL cholesterol and you should get a blood test called a lipoprotein panel to measure your cholesterol levels at least every five years
  • HDL is the good cholesterol – HDL helps remove cholesterol from your arteries

Related Definitions

Trans fats

Trans fats are worst than saturated fats. However, they are a form of unsaturated fat associated with a number of negative health effects. Artificial trans fats are now banned in the United States along with Denmark, Brazil, and Canada.

Saturated fats

Saturated fat can raise LDL cholesterol which is the bad cholesterol. Consuming a lot of foods that are high in saturated fat can negatively impact heart health, so it’s best consumed in moderation.

Omega-3 fatty acids

An essential fatty acid found in fish oils, especially from salmon and other cold-water fish. Eating foods that are enriched in Omega-3 fatty acids acts to lower the levels of cholesterol and especially cholesterol LDL the “bad cholesterol” along with triglycerides.

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