Is Cholesterol An Essential Nutrient? - All You Need To Know!

Is Cholesterol An Essential Nutrient? – All You Need To Know!

Whenever we hear about cholesterol, We are always afraid of the word ’cholesterol’, because most people believe cholesterol is a lifelong disease. People also believe this condition can be controlled through regular medications and a heart-healthy diet.

There is a myth that fixed people’s minds that cholesterol is bad for our health. Is it true? What is cholesterol? what are the purposes of cholesterol? Is cholesterol for good health? why is cholesterol considered an essential nutrient? This article will give you all the answers that you need to know.

What Is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a fatty substance found in the cells of our body. It travels through the blood and helps the proper functioning of our body. In general, the body needs an adequate amount of cholesterol to make hormones, vitamin D, and also essential for creating substances for food digestion. The body is capable of producing the cholesterol it needs. Cholesterol is also found in animal sources like cheese, meat, eggs, etc.

What Is Cholesterol

Cholesterol is mainly divided into two types. High-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) and Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL). HDL cholesterol is good for our health. Having a high amount of HDL cholesterol is highly beneficial to health because it prevents cardiovascular disease.

The primary function of good cholesterol is to absorb excess cholesterol from arteries and blood and carry it back to the liver. On the other hand, low-density lipoprotein is harmful to your health. This type of cholesterol builds a wall in the blood vessels which causes blockage in the arteries. A high amount of LDL causes health problems like heart disease and stroke etc.

This condition mainly occurs due to lifestyles and food habits. Sometimes it may have happened due to the difference in genetics. Researchers say consuming processed foods are the main reason for increasing LDL. food has a vital role in producing cholesterol. Every food that we intake contains a certain level of cholesterol. In some cases, cholesterol won’t dissolve in the blood.

This condition creates walls in the arteries. A blood test can prove if a person is detected with cholesterol. We have to take the checkup with an empty stomach. The person who is going to test cholesterol levels shouldn’t eat or drink anything except water for 9 to 12 hours. The total cholesterol is measured by the amount of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

Functions Of Cholesterol

As said earlier, our bodies have been producing an adequate amount of cholesterol for the smooth functioning of the organs as well as the whole body. Cholesterol helps the body with various functions like muscle building, repairing damage in the existing tissue, producing vitamin D, helping to produce multiple substances for digestion, etc. cholesterol is of various types, so we can’t say that all cholesterol is bad for your health.

Functions Of Cholesterol

Some types of cholesterol are essential for maintaining the body in a healthy way. Cholesterol travels through the blood in the form of proteins. These lipoproteins perform important jobs like keeping the body from cardiovascular disease. Therefore, the body needs a sufficient level of cholesterol for good health.

Why Is Cholesterol An Essential Nutrient?

Many people think that cholesterol is always harmful to our health. We can not survive without cholesterol. It has its own functions.  We saw the functions of cholesterol for maintaining good health. It is essential for the metabolic process. The functions of cholesterol clearly reveal the vital role of this fatty-like substance.

When it becomes a higher amount, it affects the functioning of the whole body. In this condition, cholesterol became harmful to health. Because our body doesn’t need a high level of cholesterol to perform its role. The liver is producing most of the cholesterol in the body. The rest of the cholesterol produces from your food consumption and lifestyle also.

Foods contain good cholesterol as well as bad cholesterol. High-processed foods are the main source of increasing the LDL cholesterol in the body. On the other hand, foods like oats, beans, and whey grains help to lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol. 

Risk Factors In The Cholesterol

Today, people are running behind with new cravings. Everybody needs to taste new food items they have been watching in their day-to-day life. Every day they are experiencing a variety of high-processed foods and different tastes. At the same time, we are health-concerned persons.

Risk Factors In The Cholesterol

The deliciousness of the meals provokes people to forget about the side effects of this type of unhealthy food. There are controlled and uncontrolled risk factors in cholesterol. Controlled risk factors include lifestyle, food habits, lack of physical exercise, being overweight, etc. uncontrolled risk factors are family history and age.

As we already know, the liver is the main center where cholesterol and dietary fat produces. Some research has shown food habits have a significant role in cholesterol levels in the body. While other research has shown that cholesterol in food doesn’t cause risk factors and it maintains a neutral relationship with each other. However, controlling high-cholesterol foods help to reduce the low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the body. 

Animal fats are considered the primary source of cholesterol in processed foods. Along with that, other foods like milkshakes, coffee with whipped cream, fruit juice with added sugar, and fried food items are contributing to raising bad cholesterol. Lack of physical activity leads to high cholesterol. Normally doing proper exercise can help to eliminate fatty LDL cholesterol and it increases the HDL cholesterol.

When we consult a doctor regarding high-level cholesterol, they will surely recommend following regular exercise can be beneficial for health. A diet without physical activities is not much effective. Lifestyle habits such as excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, etc are the risk factors for cholesterol.

How To Control High Cholesterol

Avoiding saturated and trans fat: can help you to control cholesterol. We can not fully avoid the relationship between cholesterol and the person consuming cholesterol through food. It depends on the nature of our body. The research found an association between high blood cholesterol and heart disease.

High-cholesterol foods: Therefore this research recommends avoiding foods that contain cholesterol-like high-processed foods. The amount of cholesterol contained in foods will impact the amount of cholesterol circulating in the blood. Avoiding high-cholesterol foods can have a substantial effect on blood cholesterol levels. A regular checkup can help to be aware of the changes in the cholesterol level.

Blood test: Take a blood test at least every five years and learn more about the prevention methods of cholesterol. Healthy food choices can make better results. Choosing natural foods containing high fiber and unsaturated fat can bring out a change in the cholesterol level.

Regular exercise: Accordion to the Physical Activity Guidelines For Americans, adults should do 150 to 300 minutes of moderate exercises a week. It’s better to take suggestions from a dietitian before following a healthy diet. They can suggest foods for burning cholesterol based on your body.

Natural methods/Lifestyle changes: A person with high cholesterol can control the condition through medications, a healthy lifestyle, and a heart-healthy diet. Be aware of the need for cholesterol in the body. At the same time, make sure to maintain cholesterol at a balanced level.

Final Words

Before getting nervous about cholesterol as a disease, we have to know about this substance and its functions in the body. The fact is all cholesterol is not damaging your whole body. Certain substances are essential for the smooth running of our organs. The process of cholesterol in the body makes this possible.


  1. National Library of Medicine(NA): Biochemistry, Cholesterol [Online] at:
  2. mayoclinic (1998-2022) Top 5 lifestyle changes to improve your cholesterol Available [Online] at:
  3. Centers For Disease Control And Prevention(NA) Prevent High Cholesterol Available [Online] at:,grains%3B%20and%20fruits%20and%20vegetables.

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