Showcasing the Mediterranean diet and Asian diet  
 
 

 

 




 

 

 

 

 

   

Cholesterol

Cholesterol, named from the Greek words meaning solid bile, is a soft, waxy, substance that is found in everyone's body, to varying degrees. We need cholesterol to survive, as it's used to form cell membranes and brain and nerve tissues. Cholesterol also helps the body produce hormones needed for body regulation, including processing food, and bile acids needed for digestion. Your liver actually produces all the cholesterol your body needs for these functions, so you don't need to consume any extra through your diet.

It used to be thought that eating dietary cholesterol was a major factor in raising potentially harmful LDL cholesterol levels in the blood, but in recent years, studies have found that consuming dietary cholesterol only has a small effect. Consuming large amounts of bad fats (saturated and trans fats) has been identified as the main culprit.

Good and bad cholesterol

You may have heard about "bad" vs. "good" cholesterol. Here's a simple explanation. Having high levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol in your blood is considered bad because it can lead to a build up of plaque inside your arteries which can block the flow of blood to vital organs. HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol is considered good because it helps carry LDL cholesterol from the blood to the liver where it can be naturally eliminated. An easy way to remember the difference: think "H" for healthy vs. "L" for life-threatening.

 

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