What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that occurs naturally in the body. It is produced
by the liver, and from certain foods like meats, eggs, and dairy products. Our
bodies need cholesterol to function. However, too much cholesterol can be bad for
Success at managing cholesterol starts with screening and knowing your cholesterol
numbers, eating right, weight reduction and exercising regularly. These steps alone
may not totally lower you cholesterol but it is a start.
When your Cholesterol level is too high, it can lead to deposits in your arteries.
These deposits are called plaque. Many people have this condition and don’t even
know it. Testing is the only way to determine if there is a problem.
If left unchecked, high levels of "bad" cholesterol (LDL) can significantly increase the
risk of potentially fatal heart disease.
Good and Bad Cholesterol?
Total cholesterol (TC) is made up mainly of “bad” cholesterol, “good” cholesterol,
and triglycerides. They are also called lipids or fat like substances. The lipids travel
through the blood stream by attaching to proteins, forming lipoproteins.
The “bad” cholesterol, “good” cholesterol, and triglycerides have different functions
in the body. “Bad” cholesterol is called LDL (Low-density lipoproteins). High LDL in
the blood over time creates a build up of plaque in the arteries. Plaque can clog
arteries and reduce blood flow.
“Good” cholesterol is called HDL (high-density lipoproteins). HDL carries cholesterol
to the liver, for removal from the body.
Triglycerides are a form of fat carried in the blood stream and stored in the fat
tissue. A simple ten minutes blood test (finger stick), or lipid profile, will determine
your good and bad cholesterol, triglycerides and total cholesterol.
What the cholesterol numbers mean?
Adapted from the national cholesterol Education program adult treatment panel III Report.
|This information is meant to compliment the advice and guidance of your physician, not to replace it. Discuss any major change in your diet or activity level with your
doctor before beginning any exercise or weight-loss program.
|Total Cholesterol Levels (TC)||
|Less than 200 mg/dl
|HDL (Good Cholesterol) Levels||
|60 mg/dl or higher
||High - Best
|40 -59 mg/dl
|Less than 40 mg/dl
Know your health numbers
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