Bad (LDL Cholesterol) vs.
Good (HDL Cholesterol)
What's the Difference between "Good" and "Bad" Cholesterol?
LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol is known as bad cholesterol because it can build up on the walls of your arteries and increase your chances of getting cardiovascular disease. As the cholesterol passes through the arteries, some of it gets left behind in the form of plaque. As the flow of blood to your heart decreases, the heart gets less oxygen. Angina, heart attack or coronary heart disease can follow.
When you think about lowering cholesterol think LDL. This is the type of cholesterol your Doctor is concerned about and that’s why your first priority is to lower and control LDL cholesterol. Find out how to lower LDL (the bad) cholesterol by 42% percent without any side effects.
HDL (high density lipoprotein) cholesterol is often called “good" cholesterol because a high level of it seems to protect you against heart attack. Some experts believe that HDL removes excess cholesterol from plaque in arteries, thus slowing the buildup. People with a low HDL cholesterol level (less than 40 mg/dL) have a much higher risk of heart disease. A low level of HDL cholesterol may also put you at risk of a stroke. When you are tested for high cholesterol, you want a high HDL number ( above 50) and a low LDL number ideally under 185.
Even small increases in HDL (good) cholesterol can reduce your risk of heart attack. For each 1 mg/dl increase in HDL cholesterol there is a 2 to 4% reduction in the risk of coronary heart disease. Although there are no formal government guidelines, a helpful chart showing risk levels for men and women can be seen here.
The Triglyceride Connection
Triglyceride is a form of fat. It comes from food and is also made in your body. People with high triglycerides often have a high total cholesterol level with high triglyceride levels. People with diabetes or who are obese are also likely to have high triglycerides. If your triglyceride levels are less than 150 mg/dL you are normal; if your triglyceride levels are between 150–199 you are borderline high. If your triglyceride evels are above (200–499 mg/dL) you may need treatment.
Next: Does your high cholesterol problem come from the food you eat or is it caused by your genes and family history? Get the answer here.