We hear this word being banded around and usually when people are talking about heart disease, heart attacks and strokes.
Cholesterol is one of many substances created and used by our body to keep us healthy; some of it is produced by our bodies and some of it comes from the food we eat.
There are two types of cholesterol: ‘good’ known as HDL (high-density lipo-protein) and the ‘bad’ called LDL (low-density lipo-protein).
HDL is known as ‘good’ as high levels of it seem to protect against heart attack and some experts believe that it also helps remove excess cholesterol preventing it from building up.
On the other hand, LDL is called ‘bad’ as when high levels of it circulate in the blood it can clog arteries, therefore increasing the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Both HDL and LDL are both produced naturally by the body, however eating food with saturated fats and trans fats increases the amount of LDL in your blood.
So what to do?
Avoid food containing saturated fats and trans fats, which are usually in commercially packaged food and commercially fried foods, vegetable shortening, coconut oil, palm oil, they are also found in animal products such as meat and dairy, so always remove any visible fat from your meat and use low-fat dairy products.