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Cholesterol Facts

What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is found in the cell membranes of all animals, including man. It is needed to produce steroids, bile and vitamin D. High blood cholesterol is generally associated with an increased risk of heart disease.

Cholesterol is found in all foods of animal origin and can be made by the body. Cholesterol from food does not contribute much to blood cholesterol levels; rather, saturated fats are the main dietary factor associated with high blood cholesterol. To lower high blood cholesterol, focus on decreasing your intake of saturated fat.

Cholesterol requirements

The Daily Reference Intake value (DRI) for cholesterol is 300 mg/day for a healthy person on a 2000 calorie diet. There is no individualized RDA for dietary cholesterol, and neither is there a Tolerable Upper Intake Level. Incremental increases in cholesterol intake are thought to increase the risk for heart disease, so individuals are advised to keep their cholesterol intake as low as possible.

What happens when Cholesterol intake is too high?

For many people, there is a correlation between high dietary cholesterol and blood-cholesterol levels. High blood-cholesterol is associated with heart disease.

What happens when Cholesterol intake is too low?

Experts believe that a diet low in cholesterol is desirable.

Which foods are high in Cholesterol?

Foods high in cholesterol include liver and organ meats, meat and poultry, egg yolks, and dairy fats including cheese, cream and ice cream.
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