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What is Cholesterol?

You may have heard of cholesterol as something related to heart health and how unhealthy it is for us, but do you actually know what it is and what it does? Cholesterol isn’t actually a bad substance at the right levels. It is a wax-like fatty substance that is present in our cells and helps our body digest properly, as well as create hormones and vitamin D. Our liver makes cholesterol at the level that we need in order to function, and we consume excess cholesterol through our diets. We often hear that cholesterol is bad because having a cholesterol-rich diet increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood, which increases the risk for heart disease and stroke. The type of cholesterol that contributes to this is called Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL). There is another type of cholesterol called High-Density Lipoprotein, which is actually good for us because of the way in functions in our body. It takes cholesterol throughout our body back to the liver, which then cleans it out. To keep your cholesterol at the right level, make sure to move your body regularly and consume foods that are high in saturated and trans fats in moderation, since they are the highest drivers of high cholesterol. Also make sure to regularly check-in with your doctor to make sure your levels are in a healthy range!


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