LDL Cholesterol - Help and Information
When you have a high total cholesterol and your doctor is worried, it's usually because your LDL levels are so high. While HDL is good cholesterol and helps your blood system, LDL is the bad cholesterol. Many home tests won't tell you your HDL levels directly, but you can easily calculate it with:
LDL = Total Cholesterol - HDL - (Triglycerides / 5)
LDL is more fully known as Low-density lipoprotein - and it literally jams up your arteries with gunk. After a while this can cause high blood pressure, blood clots and other heart diseases.
Here are values from the American Heart Organization:
< 100 mg/dL - Optimal
100 to 129 mg/dL - Near Optimal/ Above Optimal
130 to 159 mg/dL - Borderline High
160 to 189 mg/dL - High
190 mg/dL and above - Very High
If you have high LDL levels, what can you do? Many times, your cholesterol level is simply hereditary and has little to do with what you eat. If you are overweight, regardless of what you eat, it causes your LDL levels to raise and your HDL levels to lower (a double whammy). Being sedentary also causes this same effect. So it's critical to find a way to lose weight and to become more active.
Saturated fat should be avoided when possible, while healthy fats such as olive oil should be added to your diet. Many doctors go directly to drugs to manage cholesterol levels, but that is trying to fix the problem from the tail end. It's best to stop the problem from happening in the first place, if at all possible.
Lowering your LDL Levels
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Total Cholesterol Information
HDL Cholesterol Information
LDL Cholesterol Information
Triglyceride Cholesterol Information
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