Understanding LDL and HDL Cholesterol
Sometimes the abundance of nutrition and health information can feel a little overwhelming. We're here to set the record straight about cholesterol. Cholesterol, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. The body naturally produces, and needs, an amount of it to function properly.
Lipoproteins are cells that carry the cholesterol to where its needed. LDL, Low-Density Lipoprotein is called "bad" cholesterol because as those carrier cells travel through the body, they leave deposits inside the artery walls, forming thick build-ups of plaque. This plaque, in time, hardens and clots around the walls leading to the arteries narrowing, resulting in heart disease.
Because there arent really any symptoms for high cholesterol, many people don't know that they're at risk, because they've never been tested. The first step of prevention is to see a doctor and get your blood checked. The second step would be committing to a comprehensive healthy lifestyle change.
According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are several steps people can take to maintain a normal cholesterol level:
- Get a blood test.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Exercise regularly.
- Don't smoke.
- Treat high cholesterol.
If you have high cholesterol, your doctor may prescribe medications in addition to lifestyle changes. And, if your cholesterol is already at a good level, it's never too soon to establish positive habits that can help keep you, and your heart, in optimum health.