Understanding Cholesterol: Everything You Need to Know
Understanding Cholesterol: Everything You Need to Know

As one delves into the complexities of understanding cholesterol, they may come across a wealth of different opinions and beliefs about this substance. From how it impacts heart health to the best ways to manage it, there are many different perspectives to consider. As a result, it can be challenging to discern the facts from the fiction. In this post, we will explore everything you need to know about cholesterol, equipping you with the knowledge you need to make informed and empowered decisions about your health.

(cheery music) Cholesterol. It's essential to your well-being. But what do you really know about it? Let's start with the basics. What exactly is cholesterol? Well, it's a waxy fat-like substance That's made in your liver and travels Throughout your bloodstream. It's a key ingredient that your body needs To make new cells. But too much cholesterol can lead to serious problems, Such as heart disease and stroke. Here's why. You see, there are actually two main types of cholesterol. LDL and HDL. LDL, or low density lipoprotein, Is sometimes called bad cholesterol Because it can build up inside your arteries, Which causes them to narrow, Which can lead to heart disease or stroke. That's why you should try to keep your LDL low. Think of it this way. The "L" in LDL is for lower or lousy. On the other hand HDL, or high density lipoprotein, Is the good kind of cholesterol. It carries LDL, the bad stuff, away from your arteries And back to your liver where it's broken down And processed by your body. That's why you want your HDL to be higher. In this case, the "H" in HDL is for higher or healthy. There's actually a third component known as triglycerides, Which plays a role in your cholesterol health. Triglycerides are the most common type

Of fat in your body and their job Is to store excess fat from your diet. Elevated triglycerides along with low HDL and high LDL Can also increase your risk for cardiovascular disease. So it's important to keep your triglyceride levels low. For anyone who's had their cholesterol checked, It's only natural to focus on your cholesterol score, Or the actual numbers. But the numbers don't really tell The whole story about your health. That's why it's important to discuss All of your risk factors with your healthcare provider Including risk factors that you can change, Like eating a healthy diet, Getting plenty of physical activity, and quitting smoking. Controlling your cholesterol may be easier than you think, But it all starts with getting your cholesterol checked. It's a quick and easy test. So if you're due to have your levels checked Or if you've never had them checked make it a priority. Check Change and Control your cholesterol. Get started now by visiting heart.org/cholesterol. (cheery music)


Cholesterol is a word that is often associated with negative connotations, but not many people really understand what it is or how it affects their body. The American Heart Association has released a video that provides an in-depth explanation of everything you need to know about cholesterol and how to manage it. In this article, we will review the video and summarize the key points for you.

What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a type of fatty substance that is produced in the liver and found in some foods. It is essential for the body’s proper functioning, including the production of hormones and vitamin D. However, high levels of cholesterol can pose risks to your health, including heart disease and stroke.

Types of Cholesterol

There are two types of cholesterol, namely – Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and High-density lipoprotein (HDL). LDL cholesterol is often referred to as “bad” cholesterol because it can build up in the walls of arteries, leading to potential blockages, while HDL cholesterol is known as “good” cholesterol because it helps remove excess cholesterol from the bloodstream.

What is a Cholesterol Test?

A cholesterol test measures the amount of cholesterol in your blood. The test involves taking a sample of blood and analyzing it for levels of LDL and HDL cholesterol. It is important to have regular cholesterol tests to monitor your levels and take action if they are too high.

Managing Cholesterol

There are many lifestyle changes that can help manage cholesterol levels. These include:

  • Eating a healthy diet that is low in saturated fats and high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight through regular exercise and physical activity.
  • Reducing stress levels through techniques such as meditation or yoga.
  • Quitting smoking.

Sometimes, medication may also be prescribed to manage high cholesterol levels.


The American Heart Association’s video is an excellent resource for anyone looking to learn more about cholesterol and how to manage it. By understanding the different types of cholesterol, knowing what a cholesterol test entails, and implementing lifestyle changes, individuals can take control of their heart health and reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke.


  1. Is all cholesterol bad for you?
    No, there is good cholesterol (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL).

  2. What causes high cholesterol levels?
    High cholesterol levels are often caused by a combination of genetics and lifestyle choices, such as an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise.

  3. How often should I have my cholesterol tested?
    It is recommended to have your cholesterol tested every four to six years if you are over 20 years old; however, it’s best to consult with your doctor for personalized recommendations.

  4. Can medication help manage high cholesterol levels?
    Yes, medication can be prescribed to manage high cholesterol levels, but it should be used in conjunction with lifestyle changes.

  5. Is it possible to lower cholesterol through dietary changes alone?
    Yes, dietary changes such as reducing saturated fats and increasing fiber can help to lower cholesterol levels, but it may not be sufficient for every individual and should be done under the guidance of a doctor or dietitian.