Cholesterol is a substance that comes from your body and the food you eat. The substance is waxy which is why too much can bloke arteries causing strokes.

What are LDL and HDL?

Because cholesterol cannot dissolve in the blood, lipoproteins carry it to and from cells. The two lipoproteins are LDL and HDL.  LDL is considered "bad" cholesterol because it contributes to the making of plaque and build up clogging blood flow through the arteries. HDL is also known as "good" cholesterol because it helps to get rid of LDL.

Physicians monitor these two levels because:

It helps doctors to evaluate a person’s health and determine whether a person is at risk for cardiovascular disease.

LDL= 50% cholesterol, 25% protein

HDL= 20% cholesterol, 50% protein

VLDL, very low density lipoprotein, and triglycerides are also monitored in your blood.

Results of Cholesterol Tests

Cholesterol tests show your total amount of cholesterol in your blood.

Total blood cholesterol level:

  • High risk: 240 mg/dL and above
  • Borderline high risk: 200-239 mg/dL
  • Desirable: Less than 200 mg/dL

LDL cholesterol levels:

  • 190 mg/dL and above represents a high risk for heart disease

HDL cholesterol:

  • High risk: Less than 40 mg/dL

Triglyceride levels:

  • Very high risk: 500 mg/dL and above
  • High risk: 200-499 mg/dL
  • Borderline high risk: 150-199 mg/dL
  • Normal: Less than 150 mg/dL

Controlling LDL and HDL

Below is a list of ten ways to lower LDL and raise your HDL levels.

1. Taking a statin

2. A cholesterol absorption inhibitor

3. Bile acid sequestrates

4. Nicotinic acid, also known as niacin

5. Fibrates

6. Lose weight

7. Limit saturated fats

8. Avoid trans fats

9. Have an occasional drink

10. Quit smoking

How Fats Affect Cholesterol Levels

For adults that would benefit lowering LDL levels:

Reducing saturated fat to 5 or 6 percent

Reducing calories from saturated fat

Avoiding trans fat

Are all ways that will lower your LDL levels.


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