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Cholesterol Diet Food: Your Guide to Heart-Healthy Eating

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that’s found in all the cells in your body. It’s an important substance that the liver makes. It’s needed for the formation of cell membranes, certain hormones, and vitamin D. Cholesterol also helps to make compounds that aid in food digestion.

Cholesterol is a type of lipid and it travels through your bloodstream in tiny molecules wrapped inside proteins. These packages are called lipoproteins. There are two main types of cholesterol: low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). LDL, often called “bad” cholesterol, can lead to a buildup of cholesterol in your arteries. HDL, or “good” cholesterol, helps remove cholesterol from your body.

High cholesterol, also known as hypercholesterolemia, refers to high levels of either LDL or total cholesterol in the body. It can happen if a person eats a diet high in fat. Other causes of high cholesterol include genetic disorders, such as familial hypercholesterolemia, stress, a sedentary lifestyle, medications, and some health conditions.

High cholesterol levels have the potential to cause plaque buildup in arteries, hence raising the risk of heart disease and stroke. Therefore, managing your cholesterol is a long-term effort. Always talk to a healthcare provider for personalized advice.

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