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What is Cholesterol?

Knowing your cholesterol level is really important, but an understanding of bad cholesterol—called LDL cholesterol (LDL-C for short)—is essential for taking it down.

What is Cholesterol?

Get a Better Understanding

Cholesterol is a fat (also called a lipid) that’s waxy in consistency, which travels through the bloodstream and can leave deposits in the walls of your arteries. Our bodies (specifically, our livers) make all the cholesterol we need, but we also get some from the foods we eat as well. 

It’s common to hear people say they have “high cholesterol,” but the issue is much deeper than that. Often, high cholesterol is what happens when we have too much of certain types of bad cholesterol—the most important of which is LDL cholesterol (LDL-C)—in our bodies. When LDL-C levels increase, so do our cardiovascular risks. So it’s important to have your cholesterol tested, and work closely with a healthcare provider to create a management plan.

This may include:

Establishing an LDL-C goal

Determining how often you should get your cholesterol tested

Setting up checkpoints with your healthcare provider

Identifying next steps if you don’t achieve your LDL-C goals

Often, High cholesterol is what happens when we have too much of certain types of bad cholesterol—the most important of which is LDL cholesterol (LDL-C).

Depending mostly on how well your body breaks down LDL-C, and the amount that comes from what you eat, it can accumulate in your blood and turn into plaque deposits that build up in your arteries—eventually putting you at serious risk of cardiovascular disease.

Help Someone You Care About Take Down Cholesterol

The tricky and dangerous part of it all is that there aren’t any obvious signs or symptoms of having high LDL-C—you can’t feel it, but bad things may still be going on inside your body as a result. But the more you know now, the better prepared you will be to take it down.