Saturday, March 25, 2006

Cholesterol and Triglycerides

You must have heard about cholesterol, and how having a high count of this in your blog is not good. A high count of the "bad" cholesterol is hypercholesterolemia and can lead to clogged arteries and heart attack. What is bad cholesterol?
Let’s start by a review of what cholesterol is. You can find this information in books and the Internet readily. But this is your quick guide to fitness, so here is a review.

Cholesterol is need by your body to manufacture some hormones and parts of some cell membranes. Your body makes some cholesterol and ingests other cholesterol from animal products such as meat, poultry, fish, and dairy. Plant food does not have cholesterol. Trans fats and saturated fat causes your body to make more cholesterol.

Low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, is the "bad" cholesterol. LDL can accumulate on artery walls and then lead to atherosclerosis. Too much of it can clog your arteries. The “good” cholesterol is high-density lipoprotein, or HDL. It actually carries cholesterol away from your arteries to your liver where it is eliminated from the body. Some experts believe that HDL removes LDL from artery walls. Some studies suggest that high levels of HDL cholesterol reduce your risk of coronary disease. HDL levels of 35 - 40 mg/DL are considered normal.

The aim for LDL level should be less than 130 mg/dL for most people. A high LDL level is more than 160 mg/dL, or 130 mg/dL or above if the person has two cardiovascular disease risk factors.

High levels of t triglyceride, a form of fat, are not healthy. Triglycerides like cholesterol, are made in the body or ingested. Often people with high levels of LDL have high levels of triglycerides. Triglyceride levels of less than 150 mg/dL are normal. Levels from 150–199 are borderline high. Levels of 200–499 mg/dL are high and may indicate the need for treatment in some people.

Ways to increase HDL level and lower LDL level are: eat more monounsaturated and less saturated fat, cut out trans fat, stop smoking, exercise, eat more fiber. Some physicians recommended drinking one or two alcoholic drinks a day top increase HDL blood level. That seems excessive. But one or two drinks of red wine a week may increase HDL.

Disclaimer: This blog is not meant as a substitute for medical advice or diagnosis.

Some information from this blog was obtained from
Accessed on March 25, 2006.

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