The Good and Bad of Cholesterol

Cholesterol is one of those words you hear a lot…you get a cholesterol number from your doctor you read cholesterol on the food label.  But what is it and is it bad or good?

What is Cholesterol? Cholesterol is a type of lipid called a sterol that is found in the body naturally.  Your liver & intestines make cholesterol so you don’t need to consume it in your diet.

What does Cholesterol do? It is a part of every cell membrane and helps make important compounds such as sex hormones, bile acids, adrenal hormones & vitamin D

What foods contain Cholesterol? It is found in the fatty part of animal products: butter, egg yolks, whole milk, meats and poultry.  Plant foods do not contain any cholesterol.  Low fat or fat free animal products have less cholesterol but still some.

How much Cholesterol should I have? It is recommended to consume less than 300 mg each day from your diet.

What Makes up my Blood Cholesterol Number? The number you get from your doctor is a combination of how much cholesterol your body makes naturally (some people genetically produce more than others) in addition to your diet and exercise.   Research shows that saturated and trans fat have the greatest impact on your cholesterol levels.  However, cholesterol from food plays a roll as well.

For more information about cholesterol visit The American Heart Association’s Website.

Up Tomorrow: What you can do to Lower your Cholesterol

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One Response

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