Cholesterol is a waxy substance similar to fat that is found in all of the body’s cells.
As the MedlinePlus webpage explains, the human body needs it to produce hormones, vitamin D and substances that help it to digest food. Too much cholesterol and blood increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
The most common cause of high cholesterol is an unhealthy lifestyle. This can consist of:
- Eating too much fat. Saturated fat is found in some meats, dairy products, chocolate, baked goods and processed and fried foods. Trans fat is found in some fried and processed foods.
- Lack of exercise. Physical inactivity and too little exercise reduce good cholesterol (HDL).
- Smoking. This habit increases bad cholesterol (LDL), especially in women.
The following video shows how good and bad cholesterol work in the body.
Related article: 5 foods that lower cholesterol