The Cholesterol Lingo
If you’re feeling nervous about your health risks, the last thing you’ll want to face is a lot of complicated medical terminology. You may have heard a lot about your LDL and HDL levels, especially if you’ve been diagnosed with high cholesterol. But what do these terms mean? Here are some answers:
Cholesterol, a waxy substance produced by your body, travels through your bloodstream in packages called lipoproteins. There are two types of lipoproteins â€” LDL, which stands for low-density lipoprotein, and HDL, or high-density lipoprotein. LDL is sometimes referred to as “bad” cholesterol because too much LDL can clog up your arteries. HDL, referred to as “good” cholesterol, keeps cholesterol from building up in the walls of your arteries.
This means that you generally want less of the bad cholesterol and more of the good cholesterol in your blood. You can reduce your LDL-cholesterol by reducing saturated fats in your diet. Unfortunately, there is not “magic food” that can boost the good cholesterol in your blood. The best way to raise your HDL cholesterol level is to stay physically active. Exericse also helps lower bad LDL-cholesterol, so you have even more reason to get moving.
If you have additional questions about your cholesterol levels, do not be afraid to ask your doctor for a full explanation in easy-to-understand language. It’s your health. You should always understand the best way to care for it!