Good heart health is like a building block: It’s cumulative. This is particularly true when it comes to high cholesterol.

Cholesterol is a fatty substance your liver makes. It’s also found in certain foods. Your body needs some cholesterol to function properly. But having too much of the bad type of cholesterol — low-density lipoprotein (LDL) — puts you at risk for having a heart attack or stroke.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source, having high cholesterol raises your risk for heart disease.

LDL is also called “bad” cholesterol because it blocks your blood vessels and increases your risk for heart disease. HDL is considered “good” cholesterol because it helps protect you from heart disease. The higher your HDL, the better.

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that occurs naturally in your body.

Many people think that cholesterol is harmful, but the truth is that it’s essential for your body to function.

Cholesterol contributes to the membrane structure of every cell in your body.

Your body also needs it to make hormones and vitamin D, as well as perform various other important functions. Simply put, you could not survive without it.

Your body makes all the cholesterol it needs, but it also absorbs a relatively small amount of cholesterol from certain foods, such as eggs, meat, and full-fat dairy products.

5 FOODS THAT MUST BE AVOIDED IN ORDER TO DECREASE LDL and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.