What is Cholesterol and How it is linked to Dietary Fat ??
Home Abstract Interesting facts on Dietary FAT Chemistry of FAT Types of FAT
Importance of FAT Know your numbers Healthy Habits At a Glance Bibliography/Acknowledgement

Cholesterol is soft waxy substance present in all parts of our body. We obtain it by two sources.

Plant products such as margarine, cooking oil, and food from plant origin such as grains, dry beans, peas, vegetables do not contain cholesterol.

Why do we need it ?

Our body produces cholesterol as it is needed so we do not have to consume too much of dietary cholesterol.

Normal Artery and Blocked Artery ....(1)
A diet high in cholesterol and saturated fats would increase blood cholesterol levels in many people. As a result "PLAQUE" would built up in the inner walls of arteries and makes it difficult for blood to pass through arteries. This would increase the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Click on the image (1) to view the normal artery and the artery with PLAQUE formation, obstructing the blood flow.
All of us have two types of Cholesterol in our body.

What do they do for us?

Following picture is self-explainatory. I was very happy when I found this picture on the internet. My "special thanks" for the creator(s) of such wonderful images.
A detailed picture is worth 1000 words. Role of HDL and LDL ...(2)
After seeing the picture, I am sure you know who is the good guy and who is the bad guy.

Key points to remember

  Dietary Habit  How it effects us
 Healthy amounts of unsaturated fat  Reduces LDL and increases HDL
 Too much of saturated fat  Increases LDL
 Trans fat  Increases LDL and reduces HDL
 Too much of any type of fat  Increases weight ** and increases triglycerides.
 Diet rich with Essential Fatty Acids with proper ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fats  Lowers triglycerides, lowers blood pressure, increases HDL
** could lead to increase in blood sugars, blood pressure as well as cholesterol.

    After learning about cholesterol I became more curious to know about the fat and cholesterol contains of some of my favorite foods. I have made a chart to know the numbers in the next page.

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