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Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that is part of your body’s cells and helps you make vitamin D and certain hormones. However, having high cholesterol levels puts you at higher risk for heart disease. Read on to learn more about cholesterol and how to keep your cholesterol levels healthy.
Your body naturally makes cholesterol in your liver. This is called “blood cholesterol” because it is the cholesterol that circulates in your blood.
Cholesterol comes from the foods you eat. This is called “dietary cholesterol” and is from animal sources like meat, poultry, milk products, eggs and shellfish. Dietary cholesterol eventually circulates in your blood after your body digests a meal and is stored in your liver.
To help lower your risk of heart disease, the goal is to lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol if it is too high and raise HDL (“good”) cholesterol if it is too low.
The following factors may cause high cholesterol:
No. The amount of cholesterol you get from food usually has little impact on your blood cholesterol if you are a healthy person. People who have a family history of high blood cholesterol should try to limit the amount of dietary cholesterol they eat.
Remember, cholesterol is only found in animal foods. Foods that have higher amounts of cholesterol include egg yolks, liver, caviar and shrimp. Veal, lamb, pork, chicken, turkey, beef and dairy products also have cholesterol.
Most people do not need to count milligrams of cholesterol each day. You can limit foods that are very high in cholesterol by reading the Nutrition Facts table on packaged foods.
Eating well by choosing foods low in saturated fat, trans fats and cholesterol, keeping active and managing your weight are the best ways to help you keep your blood cholesterol levels in check. Talk to your doctor about your LDL and HDL blood cholesterol and take a step forward in preventing heart disease.
Understanding Eggs and Cholesterol
Facts on Fats
Facts on soluble fibre
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