Contact your local county Extension office through our County Office List. Print this fact sheet. Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in all animals including humans and is essential to every cell in the body. Cholesterol is used to make certain hormones, like estrogen and testosterone, and it is part of a chemical called bile, which helps to digest fats. A special form of cholesterol found in the skin has the ability to change into vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. There are two different types of cholesterol. How is blood cholesterol transported by the body? Cholesterol is transported in the blood by different carriers. Where do we get cholesterol? Our bodies have the ability to make all of the cholesterol needed for proper functioning once we reach childhood, but most people also get cholesterol from foods. Different foods vary in the amount of cholesterol they contain.
When it comes to dietary fat, what matters most is the type of fat you eat. Contrary to past dietary advice promoting low-fat diets, newer research shows that healthy fats are necessary and beneficial for health. Fat is an important part of a healthy diet. Siri-Tarino, P. Curr Atheroscler Rep, Hu, F. Am J Clin Nutr, Jakobsen, M.
Study population Participants were recruited through internet advertisements and from our extensive database of previous study participants. Published online Jun Responses of surrogate markers of cholesterol absorption and synthesis to changes in cholesterol metabolism during various amounts of fat and cholesterol feeding among healthy men. Fuller N. Cholesterol is a structural component of cell membranes and plays an integral role in membrane fluidity. Dietschy J. The nutrition facts label is a useful tool to determine the amount of fat or cholesterol in a particular food item. Dietary fat provides essential fatty acids, such as linolenic omega-3 and linoleic omega-6 acids, which the body cannot produce on its own.