Cholesterol levels

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Cholesterol is a type of fat that is found in the blood and is necessary for the body to function properly. However, high levels of cholesterol in the blood can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. In this article, we will discuss cholesterol levels, what they mean, and how to manage them.

Types of Cholesterol

  • There are two main types of cholesterol:
  • LDL cholesterol: Often referred to as "bad" cholesterol, LDL cholesterol can build up in the walls of the arteries, leading to atherosclerosis and an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • HDL cholesterol: Often referred to as "good" cholesterol, HDL cholesterol helps to remove LDL cholesterol from the blood and transport it to the liver for processing.

Cholesterol Levels

  • Cholesterol levels are typically measured with a blood test known as a lipid panel. The results of a lipid panel will include the following measurements:
  • Total cholesterol: The total amount of cholesterol in the blood, including both LDL and HDL cholesterol.
  • LDL cholesterol: The amount of LDL cholesterol in the blood.
  • HDL cholesterol: The amount of HDL cholesterol in the blood.
  • Triglycerides: Another type of fat found in the blood that can also increase the risk of heart disease.
  • The following table shows the recommended cholesterol levels:
  • Measurement Optimal Level Borderline High High
  • Total cholesterol Less than 200 200-239 240 or higher
  • LDL cholesterol Less than 100 130-159 160 or higher
  • HDL cholesterol 60 or higher N/A N/A
  • Triglycerides Less than 150 150-199 200 or higher

Managing Cholesterol Levels

  • There are several lifestyle changes that can help to manage cholesterol levels, including:
  • Diet: A healthy diet that is low in saturated and trans fats and high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help to lower cholesterol levels.
  • Exercise: Regular physical activity can help to improve cholesterol levels and overall cardiovascular health.
  • Quitting smoking: Smoking can raise cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • Medications: In some cases, medications may be necessary to help manage cholesterol levels.
  • It is important to work with a healthcare provider to develop a plan for managing cholesterol levels based on individual needs and risk factors.

Also see

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