What are LDLs and HDLs?
There are essentially two types of cholesterols, the high density lipoproteins (HDLs) and the low density lipoproteins (LDLs). HDLs are considered as the “good” cholesterol because it helps in the removal of LDLs to and from the arteries and back to the liver where they are dissolved. LDLs, on the other hand, are the “bad” cholesterols in the body, because they help in the formation of plaque in the arteries. These plaque causes thickening and hardening of the arterial walls that could decrease the blood flow to and from the heart. The bad thing is, this is a contributing risk factor for developing heart diseases in the long run.
Knowing your cholesterol level is important
When there is too much of the bad cholesterol in the blood streams, it does not likely cause any symptoms. This is the main reason why many people do not know that they already have high cholesterol. It is necessary to know what your cholesterol levels are, so you can likely reduce the devastating long-term effects it could have on your health. Take note that lowering cholesterol level is the first line of defense against the development of cardiovascular diseases and mortality.
How can I know my cholesterol level?
By conducting a blood cholesterol test once every five years, you could have an idea about your cholesterol levels. These tests could either be LDL specific or the total number of LDL and HDLs in the blood. Here are some of the important things to know about cholesterol tests:
Overall cholesterol level Risk
- Less than 190 mg/dl low
- Between 190 and 200 borderline
- Above 200 mg/dl high
LDL specific cholesterol level Risk
- Below 100 mg/dl Desirable
- 100 to 129 Above normal
- 130 to 159 Borderline
- 160 to 189 High risk
- Above 190 Very high risk
What can I do to lower my blood cholesterol level?
If in case you have already have your cholesterol checked and you found out that you’re within the high and very high risk limits, there are some things you can do to lower your cholesterol level; that is, diet and lifestyle modification.
Foods that contain saturated fat, too much cholesterol and salt can contribute to increased cholesterol levels. So you have to avoid them as much as possible. Eat foods that are high in fiber and low in fat, instead. Also, having a sedentary lifestyle also contributes to heart diseases, so engaging in physical activities like exercise and sports can help bring your cholesterol level down.
Remember that awareness is the most important thing you can have in order to prevent heart diseases from developing – knowing the basic information about your cholesterol is a must. Read more about some useful tips from our site and increase your health knowledge and awareness.
Related Video on Cholesterols:
“High blood cholesterol: What you need to know.” National Cholesterol Education Program. Retrieved online on July 23, 2014 from http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/chol/wyntk.htm
“Cholesterol & Triglycerides Health Center.” WebMD. Retrieved online on July 23, 2014 from http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/ldl-cholesterol-the-bad-cholesterol