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​The Lipid Library is an area that will be constantly growing. As new information is added to the Lipid Information web site, relevant information will be archived here in the Lipid Library. Reference material can be found here to help you better understand cholesterol and its effects on the body.

Glossary


Atherosclerosis - is a type of "hardening of the arteries" in which cholesterol, fat, and other blood components build up in the walls of arteries. As the condition progresses, the arteries to the heart may narrow, reducing the flow of oxygen-rich blood and nutrients to the heart.

Cholesterol - is an odorless, white, waxy, powdery substance. You cannot taste it or see it in the foods that you eat. Your body needs some cholesterol in order to function normally.

Coronary heart disease - commonly referred to as CHD, is caused by the narrowing of coronary arteries (through which oxygen-rich blood and nutrients are supplied to the heart). It is caused by atherosclerosis. In time, the inadequate supply of oxygen-rich blood and nutrients damages heart muscle and can lead to chest pain and heart attack and can possibly lead to death.

Fat - is one of the essential nutrients that supply calories to the body. Fat provides 9 calories per gram, more than twice the number provided by carbohydrate or protein. Small amounts of fat are necessary for normal body function. 

HDL cholesterol - or high-density lipoprotein, helps carry the "bad cholesterol" away from the walls of the arteries and returns it to the bloodstream, thus preventing buildup of cholesterol in the artery walls. That's why its called the "good cholesterol."

Hydrogenated fat - is liquid, unsaturated fat that has been changed by a chemical process into a more solid, saturated fat. Though this improves the shelf life of the products in which this fat is used, it also increases the saturated fat content. It is commonly found in cakes, cookies, snacks, an other food products. 

LDL cholesterol - the "bad cholesterol" or low-density lipoprotein, carries the largest amount of cholesterol in the blood and is responsible for depositing cholesterol in the artery walls. An elevated LDL cholesterol level is associated with risk of heart disease.

Lipids - are fatty substances that are present in blood and body tissues and include cholesterol and triglycerides. 

Lipoproteins - are protein-coated packages that carry fat and cholesterol through the body. Lipoproteins are classified by their density.

Monounsaturated fat - a slightly unsaturated fat that is found in greatest amounts in foods from plants, including olive and canola (rapeseed) oil. When substituted for saturated fat, monounsaturated fat helps to reduce blood cholesterol.

Polyunsaturated fat - a highly unsaturated fat that is found in food products derived from plants, including safflower, sunflower, corn, and soybean oils. Like monounsaturated fat, it is a healthier alternative to saturated fat.

Saturated fat - is usually solid at room temperature. It is commonly found in animal products, such as meat, poultry, egg yolks, and dairy products. it is also found in a few vegetable products, such as coconut and cocoa. Saturated fat raises blood cholesterol more than anything else in the diet. 

Total cholesterol - is the total of the HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and VLDL cholesterol. 

Triglycerides - are fat-like substances that are carried through the bloodstream to the tissues. Much of the body's fat is stored in the form of triglycerides for later use as energy. 

Unsaturated fat - is usually liquid at refrigerator temperature. It is primarily found in vegetable products. The two kinds of unsaturated fat are monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat. 

VLDL cholesterol - or very-low-density lipoprotein, carries cholesterol and triglycerides from the liver. After it sheds the triglycerides, it becomes LDL cholesterol.