Cholesterol is a soft, waxy, fat-like substance that is found in the fats in the body's blood stream and in the cells. Cholesterol is produced in the liver. Cholesterol is needed to make Vitamin D, and bile salts that help digest fats. Although cholesterol is used to make cell membranes and make hormones, having a high level of cholesterol increases the risk of getting stroke or heart disease. Also having too much cholesterol in the bloodstream can cause a plaque, which is when there is too much cholesterol is in the bloodstream and it sticks to the walls of arteries and can block them. You are most likely to have a high cholesterol level if your family has had it before you, if you are overweight, or if you eat unhealthy foods like cheeseburgers and French fries. Lipids are a type of fat. Cholesterol is a kind of lipid and is found in all animal foods including hamburger, chicken, and eggs, while fruits and vegetables have no cholesterol. The liver makes around 1000 mg of cholesterol a day and while the body also eats an average of 100-250 mg of cholesterol a day so the amount of cholesterol can be very high at times. There are two main sources of cholesterol. Your body alone produces enough cholesterol but there is also lots of cholesterol found in foods. Lots of adults have a high cholesterol level. Even though many people diet cholesterol is found everywhere, all animal foods, like hamburgers and chicken have lots of cholesterol. Also foods that have lots of fat and saturated fat in them should not be eaten a lot. Sometimes there are foods where it doesn't seem like there is any cholesterol in the foods like a grilled cheese sandwich, or a baked potato with butter. While you eat the cholesterol is absorbed into the digestive tract and goes to the liver. Then it circulates through the blood system and clogs the arteries. Lots of people don't realize that the body produces cholesterol in the liver and in the cells all over the body so that the body two sources the amount of cholesterol can increase rapidly. Some of your cholesterol level comes from the genes but most of just comes from eating greasy foods. Eating a healthy diet plays a big part in lowering your cholesterol level. Make good choices like instead of getting a side of fries get a side salad, and instead of eating a Milky Way for a snack eat fruit or carrots to help your eyes and muscles. Exercise and stretch, make a daily exercise routine that has 30 minutes to an hour of exercise. If you are healthy enough play a sport like tennis or basketball. Because cholesterol cannot travel and dissolve into blood it has to combine into proteins. The proteins carry around the cholesterol to all the different places in the body that need it. When this happens and the protein and the cholesterol combine it forms a lipoprotein. The two most important lipoproteins are high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and low-density lipoproteins (LDL). LDL cholesterol is bad cholesterol because it clogs blood vessels and HDL cholesterol is good. Only one third of the cholesterol in the body is HDL. HDL carries water back to the Liver where it can be made and sent out to the body. When there is too much cholesterol in the body your health is in danger. When LDL cholesterol levels are high a plaque form and the arteries harden and narrow and prevent blood flow. When this happens, coronary artery disease happens and makes a person more at risk for having a heart attack. When the blood vessels do that; the flow to the brain is harmed cerebral vascular disease happens which causes damage to the brain and makes a person more at risk for stroke.
The clogging of the arteries can also damage the kidneys and the intestines.
One cause of having a high cholesterol level is being overweight. The diet that is eaten may contain foods with high cholesterol. Therefore the level will rise. Heredity also causes a high cholesterol level. If your family has had a disease or a dieting problem you are more likely to have a cholesterol level from your parents or other relatives from there genes. Another cause is physical activity. If the body does not get blood flowing by exercise it makes it easier for cholesterol to block blood vessels. So it is very important to exercise daily. Age also causes having a high cholesterol level. As the body gets older the liver will make more cholesterol making it even more important to watch how much cholesterol you eat.