What Is Cholesterol?


Cholesterol can be both bad and good. At a normal level, it is essential for the body. If concentrations get too high, it can put you at risk for a heart attack. Cholesterol can be found in every cell and has important functions for generating vitamin D, producing hormones, and digesting food. There are two types of cholesterol: LDL, which is considered bad cholesterol, and HDL, which is considered good cholesterol.

Reducing the intake of fat can help control cholesterol levels. It’s best to limit foods that contain trans fats, saturated fat, and cholesterol. Excess weight can also lead to higher cholesterol levels and genetic factors can contribute. Other conditions that can lead to high levels include pregnancy, an underactive thyroid gland, liver or kidney disease, and diabetes. Those who have high levels usually don’t show signs. However, routine screenings can detect high levels. Regular testing can help reduce the risk of a heart attack due to not knowing about high levels.