Difference between Fats and Cholesterol

Key Difference: Fat is a concentrated source of energy. It provides a pillow to help protect our vital organs. Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like material prepared in the liver and other cells, and found in various foods, such as food from animals, like dairy products, eggs, and meat.

Fats are required by the body for generating hormones, so that one feels the fullness after eating a meal, which makes their energy last longer. Fats play an important part in chemical and metabolic functions. Fats are broken down in a human body by enzymes called lipases, which are produced in the pancreas. Human bodies also have an adipose tissue, which is known as a fat depot and is a loose connective tissue composed of adipocytes. This tissue is composed of roughly 80% fat and is located beneath the skin, around internal organs such as the bone marrows and breast tissues. The main role of this tissue is to store energy in form of lipids. An excess of this tissue causes obesity in humans.

The two main types of fats are Saturated and Unsaturated. Almost all foods, butter, margarine and oils, contain a mixture of fats. The food is called high in saturated or unsaturated fats, when one type is often present in higher amounts.

Cholesterol is basically a very unique type of fat. Many people do no understand that cholesterol is an important component and is required by body cells for producing other essential substances such as Pre-vitamin D, Testosterone, Estrogen, Progesterone, etc. Completely cutting out cholesterol is bad; also cholesterol itself is not bad.

Cholesterol is a waxy fat-like substance that is produced in the liver and is essential for the production of different substances in the body. In addition to being produced by the liver, cholesterol is also found in other consumables such as poultry, meat, dairy products, etc. Our body requires a limited amount of cholesterol in the body, which ironically also helps digest fat. However, high amounts of cholesterol prove to become deadly by increasing chances of diseases. Since, cholesterol cannot be digested; it remains in the blood stream. Cholesterol is produced by the human body, thus humans don't need to eat foods with cholesterol. Yet foods like eggs, cheese, butter and meats all contain cholesterol.

Comparison between Fats and Cholesterol:





Fats are the fatty acid esters of glycerol and are the primary energy depots of animals. The energy depots are used for storing energy that may be required by the body during deprivation of food.

Cholesterol is a waxy fat-like substance that is produced in the liver and is essential for the production of different substances in the body.


Fats are essential for human body to some extent.

Cholesterol carries bad and good cholesterol. It is essential, but one has to take while eating food products.

Origin of the word

Middle English, from Old English fǣtt, past participle of fǣtan to cram; akin to Old High German feizit fat

Ancient Greek chole- (bile) and stereos (solid)

Derived in

12th Century

Late 19th Century


  • Trans fat
  • Unsaturated fat
  • Saturated fat
  • Total fat
  • Low density lipoproteins (LDL)
  • High density lipoproteins (HDL)
  • Very low density lipoproteins (VLDL)
  • Triglycerides

Image Courtesy: weighing-success.com, vitaslim.eu

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