What Exactly Is Cholesterol?

Although cholesterol has gotten a bad rap over the years, it’s not, by itself, a badthing. Cholesterol is a soft, faintly yellow, naturally occurring waxy substance found it cell walls and membranes throughout your body, including your brain, nerves, muscles, skin, liver, intestines, and heart. It’s one of several fats, or lipids, your body produces. Without enough cholesterol, you simply couldn’t live.

You use cholesterol to produce sex hormones (including estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone), vitamin D, and bile acids that help you digest fat. However, you need only a relatively  small amount to take care of all of these things. And your body (your liver, intestines, and even Skin) manufactures plenty of it about three or four times more cholesterol than most Americans eat, That means you could go the rest of your life without ever consuming another bite of cholesterol and you’d be just fine. (Although there’s no need to do so; you’ll read later on that eating too many foods that contain cholesterol is not the main cause of high blood cholesterol.)

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