Your Body Actually Needs Cholesterol
Cholesterol actually has health benefits which your body needs. Cholesterol helps to make key hormones, synthesizes vitamin D, is an essential component of cell membranes and is needed for brain and nerve function. The problem, however, is when the level of cholesterol in the body is excessively high.
There's Bad Cholesterol and Good Cholesterol
Cholesterol is carried through the body by high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and low-density lipoproteins (LDL). LDL is considered the "bad" cholesterol because it deposits plaque in your arteries; HDL is considered the "good" cholesterol because it transports bad cholesterol from your batteries back to your liver, where it is removed from the body. Typically, a high LDL cholesterol poses a greater risk of heart disease, while high HDL is protective against heart disease.
Genetics and Diet Can Cause High Cholesterol Levels
High cholesterol can be caused by your diet and it can also be inherited. Some people inherit genes that cause their bodies to make too much LDL, and eating foods that are high in saturated and trans fat (like cheese, red meat, fried foods etc.) can also raise LDL.
Remember the saying, "Your body has so many joints, because it was made to move"? There's no truer saying. Aside keeping you fit, physical activity helps boost HDL and flush bad LDL out of your system.
Eat Some Nuts
Nuts and olives are the two main foods believed to contain nutrients that help to stop LDL from damaging arterial walls.
It's recommended that everyone age 20 years old and older should have their cholesterol level measured at least one every five years.