Cholesterol is a fatty substance found in the blood and most tissues of the body. Cholesterol is an essential ingredient in the production of steroid hormones (such as estrogen and testosterone), cell membranes, and bile salts. The body automatically produces cholesterol in the liver and it is carried in the bloodstream through carriers called lipoproteins. In addition, the body absorbs cholesterol depending on the diet. Foods that contain a high amount of cholesterol are eggs, butter, seafood, fatty dairy products, and internal organs like the brain, liver, and spleen. A normal level of total cholesterol in the body is up to 200 mg / dL.
Another value associated with the content of lipids in the blood as triglycerides. Triglycerides are formed in the body from the products of the digestion of fat in food and are how the fat is stored in the body tissues. A normal level is less than 150 mg / dL. A high cholesterol reading is usually found in smokers, those who consume excessive levels of alcohol, and people who are obese.
Good cholesterol is a high-density cholesterol carrier, also called (HDL- High-density Lipoprotein). This type removes the excess cholesterol from the blood and returns it to the liver, the higher its level the higher the level of protection of the heart, and the less likely it is for a heart attack or atherosclerosis. A normal blood level of HDL is above 40 mg / dL. In most cases, women have higher HDL values, compared to men, so it is recommended that their value be more than 47 mg / dL. In addition, people with high cholesterol reading or high levels of triglycerides usually also suffer from high levels of LDL and low levels of HDL.