Cholesterol is a fatty substance that the body uses in many of its functions. It is produced naturally in the body's cells and membranes and is used to produce hormones, vitamin D, and even the bile acids used to digest fat. Even though cholesterol has a lot of functions to perform, it is a very efficient substance so it only needs a small amount to get its job done. This is why it can be so easy to build up excess cholesterol leading to increased risks of certain health problems. When the excess is deposited in the arteries, the risk of heart attack, stroke or other problems increases.

In most cases, cholesterol build up is the result of the foods we eat. However, once we know the high cholesterol – foods and symptoms we can take steps to improve our diet and lower our risk.

Foods That Lead To High Cholesterol:

Most of us really enjoy our meal times, which can be a problem if we have high cholesterol. When we're younger, we don't give much thought to the kind of foods we love to eat but as we age food becomes a real issue. You may be surprised to learn that some foods we thought were healthy could actually be behind our high cholesterol level.

1.) Liver

For most people, liver is a high source of iron and is extremely healthy. However, for some it can increase the level of cholesterol by a significant amount. This is because the liver is the body's natural source for producing cholesterol. It is where it is made and stored. The highest source of cholesterol in animal products will always be in the liver.

2.) Baked Goods

You may like your favorite breakfast muffin in the morning. To many it is a healthy choice but it really depends on how the muffin has been prepared. If made with whole milk, eggs, butter, chips, and other tasty treats it can add up to 8 grams of fat in one muffin.

3.) Popcorn

Popcorn is one of America's favorite snack foods. Once thought to be low in calories it was considered to be the perfect food. But the way most people eat it with lots of butter, salt and sugar has made it one of the foods to avoid when considering high cholesterol – foods and symptoms.

4.) Red Meat

Meats like beef, lamb, and pork usually have more cholesterol than any other meats. Regular consumption of these can easily cause an increase in your cholesterol level and your chances of developing heart disease. If you're already at risk because of high cholesterol, then it's better to opt for healthy alternatives like beans, chicken (not fried), and salmon. All of these foods are high in omega-3 fatty acids and can make a major difference in how fast you can reduce your cholesterol levels.

Since there are no symptoms that can tell you definitively that you have high cholesterol, making the necessary dietary changes may be the simplest way to avoid health issues later on. Paying attention to high cholesterol – foods and symptoms early on could mean the difference in having a healthier lifestyle as you get older or recovering from a debilitating heart attack or a stroke.