Cholesterol is a fatty, waxy substance that your body needs to build healthy cells. High levels of cholesterol can cause buildups called “plaques” which narrow blood vessels and can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
Cholesterol travels through the blood on “lipoproteins”. There are two types of lipoproteins, low density lipoprotein (LDL), which is also called the “bad cholesterol” as high levels of it raise your risk for heart disease and strokes, and high density lipoprotein (HDL), which is the “good cholesterol. High levels of Cholesterol can be inherited, but often it is elevated because of unhealthy life choices such as eating fatty food, inactivity, obesity, smoking and drinking.
- NHS UK. What is high cholesterol? https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/high-cholesterol/ (accessed 31. July 2020)
- Mayo Clinic. High Cholesterol. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/symptoms-causes/syc-20350800 (accessed 31. July 2020)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). LDL and HDL Cholesterol: “Bad” and “Good” Cholesterol. https://www.cdc.gov/cholesterol/ldl_hdl.htm (accessed 31. July 2020)