Our body does need cholesterol to make
bile salts, hormones and vitamin D. It is mainly produced by
our liver. Cholesterol will build up on the artery walls when
the level of cholesterol in the blood is too high. There are
2 main types of blood cholesterol: LDL (the "Bad" cholesterol)
and HDL (the "Good" cholesterol).
High amounts of the bad LDL will deposit cholesterol on the artery walls forming plaques. More and more plaques will narrow the arteries lumen and may eventually block blood flow. Therefore LDL is considered the "Bad" cholesterol. Saturated fats and trans fatty acids are the most important factors that raise blood cholesterol, not dietary cholesterol! Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats found in nuts and fish for instance, can lower the LDL level. In addition, soluble fiber found in fruits, oats, barley and legumes can also lower LDL.
The good HDL, on the other hand, takes
excess cholesterol away and carries it back to the liver to be
excreted. It can also remove some of the cholesterol already
attached to the artery walls. Therefore HDL is considered the
"Good" cholesterol as high levels of HDL in the blood
can decrease the risk of heart disease. Physical activity can
also raise HDL level.
There are many factors affecting your blood cholesterol level,
including your family history, age, gender, eating habits, body
weight and shape, level of physical activity as well as concurrent
diabetes conditions. Consult with your Registered Dietitian for
a more detailed eating plan.
High Cholesterol Diet Check out foods or supplements that help lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol
Information on this site is provided for informational purposes and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or dietitian. Information and statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.