Cholesterol is an organic substance that can be found in the blood. It is produced by the cells.

Health Functions
Cholesterol is an important component of the body because it is a precursor for the synthesis of other substances such as estrogen, Vitamin D, and testosterone, among others. Cholesterol is a sterol, which is a type of lipid. This substance is also an essential structural component of the cell. Cholesterol does not dissolve in water, thus the body transports cholesterol inside lipoproteins. There are several types of lipoproteins, but the most known types are; LDL (low-density lipoprotein), HDL (high-density lipoproteins), and triglycerides. The function of LDL is to transport cholesterol to the different parts of the body. HDL removes excess cholesterol from the bloodstream and transports it to the liver so the excess cholesterol can be removed from the body. Triglycerides transports fats to other parts of the body.

Disease Risk Reduction
A high amount of LDL cholesterol is detrimental to your health. Too much LDL cholesterol in the blood could lead to the formation of plaque in the arteries. Plaque causes the narrowing of the arteries and limits the blood flow, which can cause heart attacks or strokes. Due to this, LDL is commonly referred to as the “bad” cholesterol. On the other hand, HDL is considered the “good” cholesterol because of its function - removing excess cholesterol from the blood.

Groups at Risk
People who are at risk for high cholesterol levels include those who have poor diets (eating saturated fat, trans fat), people with obesity, smokers, the elderly, those with diabetes, and people who lack exercise.

Intake Recommendations
The recommended daily intake for cholesterol is less than 300 milligrams per day. It is also recommended to always choose food that are higher in HDL than LDL (both forms are commonly combined in one source). HDL can be obtained from oils (e.g. olive oil, canola oil, avocado oil), beans, legumes, fruits, nuts, and fish.

7D VARIETY Recommendations
Energy Dates do not contain cholesterol but it can help lower LDL levels in the body. 7D VARIETY recommends the consumption of Energy Dates to lower cholesterol levels with the help of its high fiber and niacin content.