Cholesterol moves throughout the body in the blood and is a waxlike type of fat or lipid. Lipids do not come apart in blood because they are an element that does not dissolve in water. Cholesterol can come from foods, but the body makes cholesterol also. It should be noted that cholesterol is only found in foods that are from animals. There are different types of cholesterol which include Low-density lipoproteins (LDL), which people know as the bad cholesterol, High-density lipoprotein (HDL), commonly referred to as the good cholesterol, and Very-low-density lipoproteins (VLDL), which are particles in the blood that transport triglycerides.
We need cholesterol in the body to carry out important function such as making certain hormones and to create vitamin D. Cholesterol is necessary, but people need to monitor if there is too much because then it could cause problems in the body. The LDL cholesterol can build up on the walls of the arteries in the body and then the arteries become narrower, and the fatty deposits create plaque that lines the arteries and could cause blockages. Arteries are very important to the body because they carry blood that is oxygen-rich away from the heart to all the other organs that are in the body. There are fats that are connected to LDL cholesterol that people should minimize in their diets such as trans fats and saturated fats. Food such as cheese, butter, milk, and meat are saturated fats. Trans fats are found in fried foods and fast foods. Cookies, baked goods, and crackers can be identified often as trans fats because they are processed foods that are often made to last a long time on a shelf. The good cholesterol often referred to as HDL carries away other types of cholesterol away from the arteries and having higher levels of HDL reduce the risk of heart disease.
It is recommended that people over the age of 20 get their cholesterol checked by the doctor about every five years. There are different factors that affect cholesterol levels which include diet, weight, exercise, age and sex, and heredity because high cholesterol can run in families. People can try lifestyle modifications such as avoiding tobacco, changing the way they eat to a healthier diet, getting more exercise, and keeping a healthy weight. There are also medications that were created to treat high cholesterol such as Statin medications which is a well known type of cholesterol drugs.