Message icon with Image of HDL and LDLStay Heart Healthy: Review Your HDL, LDL Knowledge L Mensah

A quick review:

Cholesterol is a waxy substance found naturally in the body, made by the liver and by most cells in your body. 

The body uses cholesterol to make cell membranes. A certain amount of cholesterol comes from the food you eat. 

High cholesterol levels can build plaque on artery walls, narrowing your arteries. A resulting condition of atherosclerosis hinders blood from flowing freely to the heart and body, increasing your risk for heart disease.

HDL and LDL Whats the Difference:

HDL (High-density lipoprotein) and LDL (low-density lipoprotein) are the two types of cholesterol critical in heart health. It is essential to maintain the LDL at a low level and the HDL higher for the best for heart health.

Most of the cholesterol in your body is LDL, which accumulates in the walls of blood vessels. The LDL moves cholesterol away from the liver to the body tissues. However, LDL high cholesterol levels increase your chances of health problems such as angina, coronary artery disease, heart attack, and stroke.

 

HDL removes harmful LDL cholesterol from where it does not belong.  HDL cholesterol absorbs LDL cholesterol and carries it back to the liver for removal from your body.

HDL reduces your risk for heart disease and stroke. 

Managing Your Cholesterol:

A target for healthy cholesterol levels will depend on certain cardiovascular risk factors. 

  • age 
  • family history, 
  • stress level,
  • being overweight, 
  • blood pressure,
  • whether a smoker or have diabetes. 

Your diet can contribute to raising cholesterol levels. Keep the cholesterol in your diet under control cut down on saturated fats. 

A diet that is high in saturated and trans-fat raises LDL levels. Saturated fats are in meats, poultry skin, butter, dairy products. But good heart health practice is to clear these from dietary selections.

Omega fatty acids are good for your heart to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. 

Omega-3 fatty acids break down the bad cholesterol found in the bloodstream, prevent blood platelets from clumping and reduce the risks of blood clots.

 Keep heart and blood vessels working at their best, eat Omega3 fatty acids. Some sources are oily fish like sardines, salmon, herring, and tuna high in omega-3 fatty acids.

Flaxseed, walnuts, and canola oil are other sources of  the fatty acids.

Additionally, reduce your intake of carbs such as fructose sugar and white flour, eat more fiber, fruit, and vegetables in your dietary choices.

Weight management can improve your cholesterol levels maintain a healthy weight.

Participate in regular exercise to get your heart pumping. Being a non-smoker is heart-healthy practice.

Your doctor can set up a plan of lifestyle changes and medications that can lower your cholesterol levels.

Pay attention to your cholesterol numbers and stay heart healthy. 

Be informed and knowledgeable to help keep your heart and blood vessels in tip-top shape.