Cholesterol in Foods

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Everyone has heard of it, and everyone knows that it’s probably not good for out bodies, but very few people know what it actually is. The subject in question is of course ‘cholesterol’, and before we endeavour to find the source of this substance, we must first attempt to grasp its nature. What is cholesterol? Cholesterol is a type of fat (scientifically known as lipids) both necessary for normal human functioning but also dangerous in large quantities. Physically, it is a waxy substance, much like any other lipid. Cholesterol is produced in small quantities within the liver, bonding with certain proteins to form two types of ‘lipoproteins’: - High Density Lipoprotein (HDL); and - Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL). LDL is the harmful form of cholesterol, being the substance most likely to clog up blood vessels and cause heart problems. HDL happens to behave in quite the contrary manner to LDL, serving as a ‘cholesterol cleaner’, sending cholesterol back to the liver in order to allow it to be excreted from the body. Where is cholesterol found? Cholesterol is formed in the liver, but it may also be consumed in certain foods. As cholesterol is necessary in animal functioning, it is found in foods sourced from animals. Around 80% of cholesterol is sourced from within our own bodies, specifically our livers, and the remaining 20% is consumed from external food sources. These include: - Meat - Eggs - Cheese - Milk - Yoghurt - Ice-cream - Fish Oil - Butter - Margarine - Mayonnaise - Milk Chocolate Cow or Sheep brains contain the highest cholesterol content, packing a whopping 2100 mg of cholesterol per 100 g compared to the 1000 mg our livers produce daily. Dairy products such as Whole Milk and Yoghurt contain the lowest amount of cholesterol, coming in at about 10-13 mg of cholesterol per 100 g. Regardless; greasy, deep fried foods should generally

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