Cholesterol is essential for life, but high blood cholesterol can increase a person's risk of heart disease and stroke. A cholesterol test may be used alone or as part of a lipid profile to predict risk of developing heart disease and to help make decisions about what treatment may be needed if there is moderate or high risk. Just imagine opening a page of the cookbook and knowing that whatever catches your eye is low-cholesterol and can fit into your diet. Another plus? Your grocery list of ingredients is already written out for you. I've seen a low-cholesterol cookbook or two (or a dozen) in my day.Check out these guidelines for a diet that's low in cholesterol and saturated fat, including how to choose meats, dairy foods and fruits and vegetables. For information on cholesterol, please see our Understanding cholesterol leaflet. This short leaflet is for people who have been told they have high cholesterol, or are at risk of getting it. It explains what cholesterol is, what can cause it, and what you can do to lower it.