Sources of cholesterol.
The human liver produces about enough cholesterol for the body to function, and helps get rid of excess cholesterol. The foods we eat provide the rest, often too much. This “dietary cholesterol” comes mostly from meats, fish, eggs, dairy products, and many other animal products.
Certain fats—saturated and hydrogenated fats and trans-fats—can raise a person’s cholesterol level. Saturated fats come mostly from animal products but also derive from tropical oils (coconut oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil), which turn up in a large number of processed foods like ready-to-eat breakfast cereals. Hydrogenated fats show up in margarine and shortening and in many processed foods. Trans-fats show up in a wide range of products.