|Cholesterol is something we all have. This fat-like substance is found in every cell in your body and plays an important role in a variety of vital functions, including building and maintaining cell membranes, hormone synthesis, and the manufacturing of Vitamin D.
However, the body naturally manufactures adequate amounts of cholesterol to sustain optimal body functioning and so any extra cholesterol added through our diet, is unnecessary and when levels become too high cholesterol becomes potentially dangerous.
The body manufactures two types of cholesterol - LDL (which is seen as a bad form of cholesterol) and HDL (which is seen as a good form of cholesterol).
When LDL levels are too high, fatty deposits, or plaque, can start to build up on the walls of your arteries, decreasing the amount of blood that can flow through them and putting you at greater risk of heart attacks, stroke, arteriosclerosis or coronary heart disease.
Healthy levels of HDL will help to clean away cholesterol in the arteries before it has a chance to build up. In order to maintain healthy levels, we need to keep the LDL levels down and the HDL levels up.
Being diagnosed with high cholesterol can be a scary thing and it is something that cannot be ignored. The good news is that cholesterol can be controlled and many people use this as an opportunity to make positive life-style changes.