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
- High risk: Less than 40 mg/dL
- 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
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.