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Cholesterol is a combination of  a steroid , alcohol and a lipid found in the cell membrane of  all animals including human beings. It is also found in lower concentrations in plants. It is waxy in appearance and insoluble in water. If  the body does not get an adequate amount of  cholesterol from the food eaten, it can produced by the body through synthesis. The cholesterol levels are higher in densely packed membranes like the liver, spinal cord and brain.


Cholesterol is required for the formation and maintenance of cell membranes in the body and prevention to solidification of tissues at low temperature. It is required for the production of bile which is required for the digestion of  fat and also for the metabolism of  the water soluble vitamins. The synthesis of  Vitamin D and various steroids also use cholesterol.

 

Cholesterol is widely associated with heart problems like heart attacks and strokes due to blocked arteries. If the body produces too much cholesterol or the food you eat contains a lot  of  cholesterol, the excess cholesterol is deposited on the arteries leading the heart and brain. When the blood supply to the heart is restricted, a person suffers from a heart attack and when the the brain does not receive enough blood, a person suffers from a stroke.

 

Since cholesterol is insoluble in water, it is transported in the water based circulatory system of the human body encapsulated by lipoproteins. Lipoproteins are water soluble and carry the fat molecules of  triglycerides and cholesterol internally. There are 2 main types of  lipoproteins associated with cholesterol - Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL) and High Density Lipoproteins (HDL). Low Density Lipoproteins transport cholesterol from the liver to other parts of  the body while High Density Lipoproteins transport cholesterol from the rest of  the body to the liver so that it can be excreted.  In a healthy person, the concentration of  LDL cholesterol is low and HDL cholesterol is high.

 

All animal products like meat, milk, butter, cheese and eggs contain cholesterol. Egg yolk contains a very high concentration of  cholesterol. Saturated fat found in palm oil and coconut oil also causes cholesterol. Some plant products like flax seed and peanuts may reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood.

The safest way to lose weight is reduce weight gradually, by monitoring the calorie intake and calories burnt during daily activities and suitable exercise like walking .


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