High cholesterol can be detrimental to your health and can potentially contribute to heart disease and future cardiovascular concerns. Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance commonly found in your blood. Cholesterol is vital for your body to process vitamin D and make hormones. However, too much cholesterol can cause your body to form plaque on the walls of your arteries. The formation of plaque can contribute to coronary artery disease, which occurs when the coronary arteries become narrowed or blocked.
There are good and bad cholesterols that can be broken down into three different types of cholesterol:
HDL stands for high-density lipoprotein and is considered “good” cholesterol since it helps bring cholesterol back to the liver where it is removed from the bloodstream.
LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein and is considered “bad” cholesterol since it contributes to the formation of plaque.
VLDL stands for very low-density lipoprotein and is considered “bad” cholesterol since it contributes toward the formation of plaque because it carries triglycerides, which are a bad type of fat.
Unhealthy lifestyle choices can lead to high cholesterol levels. However, genetic factors can also be a big part of your diagnosis, even if you’re making good lifestyle choices. An unhealthy, sedentary lifestyle can contribute to high cholesterol levels, as it reduces your “good” cholesterol.
High cholesterol can contribute to many different problems, including: