The Meaning of Cholesterol

All humans have cholesterol. There are good cholesterols and they are bad cholesterols. The good cholesterols are called High Density Lipids (HDL). And the bad cholesterols are known as Low Density Lipids (LDL). You want to make sure you are consuming more Low Denisty Lipids than High Density Lipids.

And average adult weighing around 70 kgs will need around 1 gram of cholesterol a day and the total amount of cholesterol present in the body at any one time would be in the region of 35 grams. The body is capable of producing the quantity needed and this is done in the liver, although if you include any cholesterol bearing food in your diet, the body compensates by manufacturing less.

Another function of cholesterol is to help absorb fat soluble vitamins like A, D, E, & K. The liver synthesizes cholesterol in the form of bile and sends it into the digestive system for this reason. Around 95% of cholesterol that passes through the intestinal tract is absorbed by the body, and very little is excreted.

All this is very good as long as the daily intake of cholesterol does not exceed 1 gram. If however high fat foods are consumed in large quantities, it is just possible that you might exceed your daily requirement and because your body is designed not to waste any, almost everything will be absorbed. This will increase the level of cholesterol in your bloodstream leading to a thickening of arterial walls which will eventually lead to coronary diseases. The liver usually releases chemicals that will dissolve any excess cholesterol in the bloodstream, but this function seems to go into hibernation when you overload your body with too much cholesterol.

The only thing that you can do is to make sure that you do not consume too much fat in your food. Fat is essential to all animals and eating up to 30% of your daily intake in the form of fats is ok. It is only when it goes beyond this that problems start to occur. Another great way to reduce your cholesterol levels is to exercise, which happens to reduce fatty tissue. Remember that your body can never have too less cholesterol because it will create what is needed out of the food you eat. Your body needs fat for many reasons such as to maintain healthy skin and teeth, not to just produce cholesterol.

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