Although cholesterol can deposit and can cause narrowing of the inner lining of the arteries causing arteriosclerosis, however cholesterol itself is not bad for the body. Cholesterol, a fatty substance produced in the liver that can be also found in meat, dairy products and eggs, is actually a normal component of the blood and is necessary for the proper operation of the human body. It’s the excess of cholesterol in the blood that makes it detrimental for our health.
Cholesterol is carried through the blood by molecules called lipoproteins, and not all cholesterol-lipoproteins are known to exist, the high density lipoproteins (HDLs) and the low-density lipoproteins (LDLs), which are also known as the “bad cholesterol”. LDLs pick up cholesterol manufactured in the liver or from our diet and deposit it in the cells for processing. If more cholesterol is present than what is needed for daily metabolism, these are deposited on the interior lining of the coronary arteries, eventually leading to risk of heart attack. HDLs work in the opposite direction. As they float in the bloodstream, they pick up the excess cholesterol and carry it back to the liver for excretion from the body. As a result, cholesterol that is not needed from the body, together with saturated fat, are removed from our system before they are deposited and can cause harm.
Therefore, as long as you have a higher ratio of HDLs to LDLs, then you are a low risk for heart attacks, and other related cardiovascular diseases.