When it comes to the cholesterol that you allow yourself to consume, there is constant hype about the good and the bad. What is the difference between the LDL, or bad cholesterol and the HDL, which is the good cholesterol? As you are reading this, you are probably, like most of us, sipping on a cup of coffee with the newest flavored creamer added, or a bottle of soda. Well, creamer and soda, yes, they fall into the bad cholesterol range.
The cholesterol that we consume comes in two types; HDL and LDL. These do not dissolve in our bloodstreams. Cholesterol is carried through the blood by these lipoproteins. The two main lipoproteins have different effects in our blood and what happens to our health.
Understanding How Cholesterol Works
The good cholesterol, HDL, is the one we all want to see a higher number for when blood tests are done. HDL helps remove the bad cholesterol from our blood. The good cholesterol will basically carry about one fourth of the bad cholesterol back to the liver where it is then removed from the body. When there is a healthy or higher number of the HDL, good cholesterol in the blood, the body has a better chance of not having a stroke, heart attack or buildup of plaque in the blood. When the HDL, good cholesterol numbers are too low, there is a greater chance of heart disease happening.
Like many people, the LDL count is too high in our blood. This gives us the increased chance of stroke, heart disease, plaque buildup in the arteries and blood clots. The bad cholesterol differs from the good in that it has a higher amount the waxy fat substance. When there is a buildup of plaque in the arteries, this causes a shortage of the blood supply and oxygen that moves through our blood, which in turn goes to the heart.
So, to get to the gist of it, when you have blood tests done you will want to see a number of 60 or more in the category of HDL. Your LDL number should be less than 190 to be considered safe. The key to getting a good number in both is to maintain a healthy diet. Foods with less fat and cholesterol, no skin or fat on the meats, less fried foods and of course, more fruits and vegetables daily.
Stopping smoking and getting plenty of increased heart rate exercise daily is highly recommended. Lose weight if you are one of us that carry too much poundage on the body. And, last but not least, put down that soda you are drinking as you read this, and grab a bottle of water. Drink your coffee black, or with much less creamer added to it.
The lower the bad cholesterol is the higher chance at a long and healthy life you will have.