What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fat-like, waxy substance produced by your body, known as blood cholesterol, and present in some foods, called dietary cholesterol. Your body uses cholesterol to aid in body functions, like building cells, making hormones, and aiding in digestion. The liver produces all the necessary blood cholesterol, so dietary cholesterol can become excessive if ingested in too high amounts.
Cholesterol is a type of lipid, meaning cholesterol does not break down in water or in the bloodstream. Instead, cholesterol travels with the bloodstream to go to the areas of the body for proper functioning. Because cholesterol does not break down in the bloodstream, cholesterol can easily begin to build up in the body, preventing blood flow and leading to circulatory and heart problems.
It is important to track your cholesterol levels with routine blood tests and regular doctor checkups to ensure your levels remain in a healthy range. With the right lifestyle, cholesterol is manageable and heart conditions can be prevented and your risk of other adverse conditions minimized.