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Cholesterol

Nutrition Glossary

By

Updated April 25, 2014

Cheese

Most cheese is high in cholesterol.

Ana Abreu

Definition: A waxy substance found in your body that is needed to produce hormones, vitamin D and bile. Cholesterol is also important for protecting nerves and for the structure of cells.

Most of your cholesterol is made in your liver, but some may come from your diet. It's carried from the liver to the rest of your body in low density lipoproteins (LDL, or "bad" cholesterol) and back to the liver in high density lipoproteins (HDL, or "good" cholesterol). When you have a high level of cholesterol in your blood, you may have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

Eating a diet high in saturated fat and trans-fat may increase your blood cholesterol level. A healthful, high-fiber diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds may decrease them.

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