Which is Good Cholesterol?
There are two forms of cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL). HDL, also known as good cholesterol, does not stick to the walls of your arteries and carries it out of your body. On the other hand, LDL cholesterol sticks to the walls of your arteries and can build up over time, causing blockages and heart disease. But what type of LDL do you want? This article will discuss LDL particle size and how it affects you. Read on to learn about what good LDL cholesterol means!
What does good cholesterol mean?
HDL has been associated with a lower risk of heart disease and cardiovascular disease. Studies show that higher HDL levels in your blood may lead to fewer chances of developing coronary artery disease. While low levels have been linked to greater risk.
Doctors recommend HDL levels over 40 mg/dL for an adult or over 60 mg/dL for a child. When your doctor assesses your LDL and HDL numbers, they are referred to as the cholesterol ratio. You can use this formula to determine what percentage of fat you have circulating in your bloodstream: 3*LDL + HDL – Total Cholesterol.
What Makes HDL Cholesterol so Good?
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) carries it away from your arteries and back to your liver, where it can be used or recycled. Good HDL cholesterol protects you against heart disease. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) carries it away from your liver and then deposits it on artery walls, which may clog them up. Bad LDL leads to a heart attack or stroke.
What Can I Do if my HDL Level Is Low?
If your HDL level is low, there are certain steps you can take to raise it. At your doctor’s appointment, they may recommend incorporating more healthy fats into your diets, such as olive oil and avocado. On top of this, they may also advise you to start walking for at least 30 minutes each day. Finally, stop smoking if you’re a smoker, and get plenty of rest.
Medications can boost or lower HDL cholesterol.
Most medications that can boost or lower HDL work by inhibiting a particular enzyme (HMG-CoA reductase). These drugs are called statins, which block an enzyme in liver cells that makes cholesterol.
Statins are primarily used to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Other drugs can help you lower bad cholesterol, but statins are still the most commonly prescribed drug. Statin use also increases your HDL (good) levels.
How can I get my LDL levels to where they need to be?
To raise your HDL and LDL levels, focus on eating a healthy diet with plenty of whole grains, lean proteins, and fruit. One study found that adults who ate at least seven servings of whole grains each day had significantly higher levels of good cholesterol than those who only ate three servings per day. Lean protein sources such as soy and eggs can also increase LDL and HDL cholesterol levels. Dietary intake is important for raising HDL and LDL levels because it reflects how you eat over time. Limiting alcohol consumption to two drinks or less per week will also help lower your level.
Tips for keeping levels in check
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is one of the best ways to ensure your cholesterol levels are within normal range. According to WebMD, this includes eating a heart-healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains; engaging in regular physical activity; avoiding tobacco smoke and alcohol intake; not becoming overweight or obese; being aware of cholesterol-raising medications such as ibuprofen, diuretics (such as erythromycin), and aspirin; and avoiding excess salt. In addition to these sensible lifestyle changes, check with your doctor about lipid medication options.
One option for getting your LDL levels to where they need to be could be maintaining a healthy diet. Reduce or eliminate high-cholesterol foods like meats, egg yolks, shellfish, fried foods, and whole milk. Consume more plant-based proteins and fresh fruits and vegetables instead. You can also eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as fish, flax seeds, and walnuts that have been shown to lower LDL levels. A recent study published in Diabetes Care showed that older people with low levels of cholesterol who ate eggs daily had higher rates of cardiovascular disease than those who did not eat eggs regularly.