Now they think that the blood cholesterol is not harmful unless it is affected by inflammation. What appears to happen is oxidative stress produces free radical overflow that can change the blood cholesterol from this elongated shape into a shorter and stickier shape, and it is this altered cholesterol that sticks to the artery wall.
LDL cholesterol is a necessary compound for the body. Among other things, it is in all your skin cells, and it is the compound that is turned into Vitamin D with sun exposure. But, nevertheless, I would argue that having excessive blood cholesterol sets the stage for hardening of the arteries from plague (the smaller, stickier LDL) buildup to happen should there be inflammation.