• Your food's cholesterol content adds to the cholesterol that your body naturally produces. Knowing the difference between food cholesterol and blood cholesterol and how they interact can help you keep your cholesterol intake at healthy levels.


    Cholesterol circulates in your blood and has two sources: the liver, which produces your body's own cholesterol, and diet.

    Food Cholesterol

    Most of your dietary intake of cholesterol is from various meats and dairy products, such as beef, pork, fish, eggs and butter.

    High-Density Lipoprotein

    While bad cholesterol, called low-density lipoprotein (LDL), can harden and clog your arteries, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) is good cholesterol that improves cardiac health. HDL is commonly found in fish in the form of omega-3 fatty acids.

    Blood Cholesterol

    Cholesterol from food affects your blood's cholesterol level. Your body's liver, however, produces all the cholesterol you need--meaning cholesterol from your diet is often excess.

    Healthy Cholesterol

    Because food cholesterol influences your blood cholesterol, it is important to talk to your doctor about a healthy diet. Replacing red meats with fish--along with exercise--helps reduce your blood's bad cholesterol content.

    Source: Lowering Your Cholesterol; Dennis Lee, M.D., and Daniel Kulick, M.D.; edited by William C. Shiel Jr., M.D., FACP, FACR

    Cebu Doctors' University: Aging and Deadly Cholesterol; Philip S. Chua, M.D.

    American Heart Asssociation: Cholesterol

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