What is CHOLESTROL?
Cholesterol is a white, waxy substance that belongs to the fat family. Cholesterol plays an important role in the body. It is an essential building material of the body’s cells and necessary for manufacturing a number of important hormones (e.g. estrogen), bile and vitamin D that are essential for normal body functions.
Where does your body get Cholesterol from?
You get cholesterol in two ways. The first source is the body itself, mainly the liver, which produces varying amounts, usually about 1000 milligrams a day. The second source is the food that we eat which is derived from animals (especially egg yolks, meat, poultry, whole-milk and dairy products). Foods from plants (fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds) do not contain cholesterol.
What are the different types of fats in your body?
Fats travel in the blood in two forms; cholesterol and triglycerides. Cholesterol attaches to a protein to form a lipoprotein that transport sit around the body. There are two main types of lipoproteins: Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL).
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is also known as ‘bad’ cholesterol. If too much LDL circulates in the blood, it can slowly build up on the walls of the arteries feeding the heart and brain and result in the formation of fatty streaks. These fatty streaks slowly increase in size and produce raised areas called fibrous plaques. Over the years these plaques increase in size and ultimately can block the blood flow to part of the heart and cause a heart attack. If the blood flow to the brain is blocked, a stroke can result.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is also known as ’good” cholesterol as it helps to carry cholesterol away from the arteries to the liver, where it is processed and excreted from the body. It removes excess cholesterol from the blood thus providing protection against a heart attack or stroke. Triglycerides are a type of fat produced by the liver. They provide energy to undertake your daily activities.
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