Cholesterol is present in every cell of the body and performs important functions such as providing nutrition, producing hormones, and synthesizing vitamin D. Cholesterol is considered both good and bad and is measured in three categories; Total cholesterol, LDL, or 'bad cholesterol" and HDL, or 'good cholesterol".
Cholesterol levels vary by age, weight, and gender. The struggle for most people is balancing these levels. While total and LDL cholesterol levels should be kept low,having more HDL cholesterol can offer some protection against a person developing heart-related illnesses. If the concentration of bad cholesterol (LDL) in the blood is too high, it will slowly build up and clog the arteries that feed the heart and brain, leading to major health problems.
Adequate physical activity, maintaining a healthy body weight, smoking cessation, alcohol moderation and eating a heart-healthy diet combined with the right supplements can all help achieve healthy cholesterol levels and thus promote heart health.