Cholesterol is not the major culprit in heart disease or any disease. If it becomes oxidized it can irritate/inflame tissues in which it is lodged in, such as the endothelium (lining of the arteries). This would be one of numerous causes of chronic inflammation that can injure the lining of arteries. However, many good fats are easily oxidized such as omega-3 fatty acids, but it does not mean that you should avoid it at all costs.
Common sense would indicate that we should avoid the oxidation (rancidity) of cholesterol and fatty acids and not get rid of important life- giving molecules. Using the same conventional medical thinking that is being used for cholesterol would lead one to believe that doctors should reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease by taking out everybody's brain.
In fact, cholesterol is being transported to tissues as part of an inflammatory response that is there to repair damage.
The fixation on cholesterol as a major cause of heart disease defies the last 15 years of science and deflects from real causes such as the damage (via glycation) that sugars such as glucose and fructose inflict on tissues, including the lining of arteries, causing chronic inflammation and resultant plaque.
Insulin & Leptin Resistance
Hundreds of excellent scientific articles have linked insulin resistance and more recently leptin resistance to cardiovascular disease much more strongly than cholesterol, and they are in fact at least partially responsible for cholesterol abnormalities. For instance, insulin and leptin resistance result in "small dense" LDL particles and a greater number of particles.
This is much more important than the total cholesterol number. Because of particle size shift to small and dense, the total LDL cholesterol could still be low even though the number of particles and the density of the particles is greater. Small, dense LDL particles can squeeze between the cells lining the inside of the arteries, the "gap junction" of the endothelium, where they can get stuck and potentially oxidize, turn rancid, and cause inflammation of the lining of the arteries and plaque formation.
Importantly, many solid scientific studies have shown a mechanistic, causal effect of elevated insulin and leptin on heart and vascular disease, whereas almost all studies with cholesterol misleadingly only show an association. Association does not imply cause. For instance, something else may be causing lipid abnormalities such as elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, and also causing heart disease.
This "something else" is improper insulin and leptin signaling. Similarly, sugar does not cause diabetes; sugar is just listening to orders. Improper insulin and leptin signaling is the cause of diabetes. Likewise, cholesterol does not cause heart disease, but improper metabolic signals including improper signals to cholesterol (causing it to oxidize) and perhaps to the liver that manufactures the cholesterol, will cause heart and vascular disease and hypertension.
Removing cholesterol will do nothing to improve the underlying problems, the real roots of chronic disease, which will always have to do with improper communication, and the generals of metabolic communication are insulin and leptin. They are really what must be treated to reverse heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity, and to some extent aging itself.