Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that’s found in all the cells in your body. Your body needs some cholesterol to make hormones, vitamin D, and substances that help you digest foods. .. Cholesterol is also found in foods from animal sources, such as egg yolks, meat, and cheese. It’s often referred to as “bad” cholesterol, as it has been linked to atherosclerosis, or the buildup of plaque in arteries. Having a lot of cholesterol carried by LDL lipoproteins is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Total cholesterol levels less than 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) are considered desirable for adults. A reading between 200 and 239 mg/dL is considered borderline high and a reading of 240 mg/dL and above is considered high. LDL cholesterol levels should be less than 100 mg/dL.There are two major forms of cholesterol: Low-density lipoprotein or LDL, also known as “bad” cholesterol, and high-density lipoprotein or HDL, also called “good” cholesterol. LDL is the main source of artery-clogging plaque. HDL, on the other hand, works to clear cholesterol from your blood.
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