A substance found in animal fats, meat, and eggs that functions as a membrane constituent in the body and a precursor of steroid hormones. Elevated levels in the blood are a leading cause of health problems such as arteriosclerosis and heart disease. The amount of cholesterol found in processed foods is listed on the package in milligrams per serving. This is important because the amount of cholesterol varies widely between different food products. Many types of non-animal foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains, and red wine along with vitamin C and E act as antioxidants to help reduce the cholesterol level in the blood.
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