Yes we all do need cholesterol.
The soft, waxy substance is found not only in your bloodstream, but also in every cell in your body, where it helps to produce cell membranes, hormones, vitamin D and bile acids that help you to digest fat.
Cholesterol also helps in the formation of your memories and also for the neurological function. Your liver makes about 75 percent of your body’s cholesterol and there are two types:
High-density lipoprotein, or (HDL) : HDL is the “good” cholesterol that helps to keep cholesterol away from your arteries and remove any excess from arterial plaque, which may help to prevent heart disease such as myocardial infarction, stroke, atherosclerosis.
Low-density lipoprotein( LDL): LDL known as “bad” cholesterol which circulates in your blood, can build up in your arteries, forming plaque that makes your arteries block and less flexible. If a clot forms in one of these narrowed arteries, it can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Also making up your total cholesterol count are:
Triglycerides: Elevated levels of this fat have been linked to heart disease and diabetes. Triglyceride levels may also known to rise from eating too many grains and sugars, being a sedentary lifes smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol excessively and being overweight or obese.
Lipoprotein (a), or Lp(a): Lp(a) is a substance that is made up of an LDL part plus a protein . high levels of lipoprotein are a very strong risk factor for heart disease.
Cholesterol is Neither “Good” Nor “Bad”
“Notice please that LDL and HDL are lipoproteins — fats combined with proteins. There is only one cholesterol. There is no such thing as “good” or “bad” cholesterol.
Cholesterol is just cholesterol. It combines with other fats and proteins to be carried through the bloodstream. Fatty substances therefore must be shuttled to and from our tissues and cells using proteins. LDL and HDL are forms of proteins and are far from being just cholesterol.
LDL particles come in many sizes and large LDL particles are not a problem. Even small dense LDL particles can be a problem, because they can squeeze through the lining of the arteries and if they oxidize, they can be rancid or it can cause damage and inflammation.
How to avoid bad cholesterol
It was believed that cholesterol came directly from food, that eating foods like egg yolk deposited cholesterol straight into the bloodstream.
Now it comes to saturated fat – not that it deposits cholesterol into the artery, but it provides the building blocks for the liver to produce bad cholesterol, which then enters our blood vessels. So the first step to reduce the bad cholesterol levels is to cut down their saturated fat intake.
Maintaining a healthy normal body weight helps keep cholesterol in check and exercise helps also remove bad cholesterol .
But the biggest risk factor for high cholesterol is your genetics.
How to build good cholesterol
While you’re busy cutting back on saturated fats, you’d do well to up your unsaturated fat intake because they help to build levels of good HDL cholesterol.
“As before it was facts that some fats are protective and some fats are harmful, hence the low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets contribute to obesity.
Intake of good fat and fiber like nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocado and oily fish, and a plenty of fibre like fruits and vegetable because it helps to stop the gut absorbing the LDL cholesterol.