It’s likely that you’ve heard of the term “cholesterol” before, and you’re not alone if it makes you feel a little confused. From the low-fat diet era to the current day keto-lovers, there seems to be mixed messaging around cholesterol and how it impacts your health.
For starters, let’s define it. Cholesterol is a fat-like substance in our blood that our body needs to help make hormones, synthesize vitamin D, digest food and more. Since it’s fat-like and waxy in texture, too much cholesterol in our blood can lead to plaque formation and narrowing of our blood vessels, which can lead to heart disease.
But not all cholesterols is the same—there are two main types: low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) and high-density lipoproteins (HDLs). LDLs are often referred to as “bad” or “lousy” cholesterol, as they are more likely to accumulate in our blood vessels. HDLs are coined the “good” or “helpful” cholesterol because they pick up excess cholesterol in the blood, including LDLs, and bring it to the liver where it can be broken down and excreted.
Excerpted from Breathing Well