LDL & HDL
You have most likely heard the buzz words “LDL“, “HDL” and “Triglycerides” during your annual checkup with your doctor, or even amongst friends discussing why they are on a new diet. If you suffer from elevated cholesterol, you may know what these things are, but could still be confused as to how exactly this affects your health.
HDL stands for high density lipoproteins and is also known as “good cholesterol.” With cholesterol generally being a negative word, HDL brings a positive outlook if you keep yours within a healthy range of 60 and above. HDL aids in moving potential build up out of your arteries and back into your liver for processing.
LDL stands for low density lipoproteins and is the nemesis of HDL, acting out as the “bad cholesterol.” Most cholesterol in the body is LDL and is the kind that clogs arteries and shows up in pictorials and commercial ads showcasing fat-clogged arteries. It deposits itself on the walls of your arteries and forms into plaque, a hard substance that inhibits healthy blood flow. It can also lead to atherosclerosis, which is a hardening of the arteries. When the arteries to the heart are affected, it can lead to coronary heart disease and when it affects the arteries to the brain it can lead to cerebral vascular disease. This leaves you at risk for a heart attack or stroke. An optimal level of LDL cholesterol is between 100 and 129.
Triglycerides are a type of fat found in your blood. After you eat, your body will convert any calories that it does not need to use right away into triglycerides. The triglycerides are stored in your fat cells; to be used by your body for energy. However, when levels are too high it can lead to coronary heart disease. The ideal number is below 150.
You should know your cholesterol level so you can avoid the long term, and potentially fatal, effects of high cholesterol. Your doctor may not do this blood work yearly, but in many cases it is standard to do so. You can check with your insurance to be sure you have coverage to do this yearly. Stay on top of it and be sure to look at your numbers every year and see how they fluctuate.
So, what can you do help keep your cholesterol in check? The two most important things you can do are eat a healthy, balanced diet rich in vegetables, plant based foods and fiber and exercise at least four times per week. Aerobic exercise is key to get your blood flowing and help lower your levels, and most likely your weight!
The pharmaceutical industry is booming with cholesterol medicines, known as statins. There are pros and cons to these medicines, and we encourage the most natural methods to aid in lowering cholesterol and avoiding these types of medicines because muscle problems and cognitive problems plague the list of side effects.
There are many natural alternatives that can help support normal cholesterol levels, such as; CholestSure and Cholarest-SC. Many doctors also recommend Red Yeast Rice Extract, as found in Cholesterol Health.
We encourage you to have your blood work taken and talk to your doctor about what you can do to stay healthy and keep your cholesterol within optimal levels. You can start today by simply getting more active and cutting out saturated fats from your diet.
Knowing what is going on inside of your body is key to being as healthy as possible!