Cholesterol is a chemical compound made up of fats and steroids. Most cholesterol is produced by the body; however, cholesterol is also ingested with some foods, such as meat, milk and cheese. Cholesterol intake should be less than 300 mg a day to help maintain healthy blood lipid levels.
There are three types of cholesterol:
Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDL) is considered "bad" cholesterol because a high LDL level may increase risk for heart disease. The body makes LDL from saturated fats and trans fats eaten.
High-Density Lipoproteins (HDL) is known as "good" cholesterol because it helps the body remove bad cholesterol.
Triglycerides are the main form in which fat travels in the blood. While some triglycerides are needed for good health, high triglyceride levels can increase risk for heart disease.
Food Guidelines for Blood Lipid Control
In order to maintain healthy blood lipid levels, follow these guidelines when choosing foods.