Cholesterol is a type of fat that is essential for the body to function properly. It is found in every cell and is important for the production of hormones, vitamin D, and other substances in the body. However, high levels of cholesterol in the blood can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other health problems. There are two types of cholesterol: low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). LDL cholesterol is known as “bad” cholesterol because it can build up in the arteries and increase the risk of heart disease. HDL cholesterol, on the other hand, is known as “good” cholesterol because it helps remove LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream.
There are several factors that can contribute to high cholesterol levels, including genetics, diet, physical inactivity, and certain medical conditions. Lifestyle changes such as adopting a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, and reducing stress can help lower cholesterol levels. In some cases, medication may also be necessary to control cholesterol levels. Regular cholesterol screening is recommended, especially for people with a family history of heart disease, high blood pressure, or other risk factors.