Cholesterol is a waxy, fatty blood substance that your body needs to keep cells healthy. It’s produced by your liver and also is found in animal-based foods.
There are two kinds of cholesterol: “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and “good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL).
Too much “bad” cholesterol can clog your arteries and raise your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Your doctor may order a cholesterol test as a part of a routine exam or if you have at least one of these risk factors:
- High blood pressure.
- Type 2 diabetes.
- Tobacco use.
- Insufficient exercise.
- A diet high in saturated fat.