What is the difference between cholesterol and fats, and is cholesterol harmful? ?

There seem to be some confusion between cholesterol and fat, what’s the difference and is cholesterol beneficial or harmful? Please explain your answer.

One comment

  • folladj

    Fat, oil, and cholesterol are three types of lipids, which are essentially defined as not being soluble in water.

    Fats and oils need to be consumed through our diet, whereas cholesterol is actually made by our bodies (mostly by our liver). There is no daily requirement for cholesterol (so, you can have a ‘cholesterol-free’ diet and that would be fine), but if you do consume it, it is recommended to have no more than 300mg a day. It is only found in animal-derived foods. A lot of what differentiates it from a fat or oil is its molecular structure. The functions of cholesterol are incredibly varied, making it absolutely essential for healthy living (makes part of cell wall, helps produce certain hormones, transports fats through the bloodstream, etc).

    There is a lot of talk about good and bad cholesterol. Good cholesterol (HDL) has been deemed ‘good’ because it essentially takes excess cholesterol from your cells and transports it back to your liver to be recycled. High levels of this type of cholesterol can lower the risk for cardiovascular disease.
    The so-called ‘bad’ cholesterol- LDL, is only bad if its levels are too high. In excess, it can result in the build-up of plaque in the blood vessels, which can slow or completely stop blood flow, obviously causing a lot of problems.

    Some foods we eat contain cholesterol, but, as I said before, most is made by our bodies. The foods we eat have an effect on our good/bad cholesterol levels. Consuming certain saturated and trans-fats can increase bad/LDL cholesterol levels, while consuming enough mono-unsaturated fats can raise levels of good/HDL cholesterol.

    The #1 way to boost your levels of good cholesterol is exercise.

Leave a Reply