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What is cholesterol?

We hear a lot about cholesterol and the dangers of high cholesterol to our families’ health, but what exactly is cholesterol? And is all cholesterol bad?
 
Cholesterol is a soft waxy substance found in your blood. You need a certain amount of cholesterol for all your body cells and to produce important hormones. However, too much cholesterol can narrow your arteries, making it harder for your heart to pump blood around your body which could increase your risk of heart disease.
 
LDL Cholesterol is often called bad cholesterol because it sticks to the walls of your arteries making them narrower and therefore harder for your heart to pump blood around your body.
 
Eating too many foods high in saturated fat (e.g. butter, cream, biscuits, chocolate, crisps, chips, fatty meat) can raise your LDL cholesterol.
 
HDL Cholesterol is often called good healthy cholesterol because it gathers up cholesterol left behind in your arteries and carries it to the liver where it is broken down and carried out of the body.
 
Click here to find out what your cholesterol number should be.
 

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