What Is The Difference Between Good Cholesterol And Bad Cholesterol
Good cholesterol is known as high-density lipoprotein . It removes cholesterol from the bloodstream. Low-density lipoprotein is the bad cholesterol.
If your total cholesterol level is high because of a high LDL level, you may be at higher risk of heart disease or stroke. But, if your total cholesterol level is high only because of a high HDL level, youre probably not at higher risk.
Triglycerides are another type of fat in your blood. When you eat more calories than your body can use, it turns the extra calories into triglycerides.
Changing your lifestyle can improve your cholesterol levels, lower LDL and triglycerides, and raise HDL.
Your ideal cholesterol level will depend on your risk for heart disease.
- Total cholesterol level less than 200 is best, but it depends on your HDL and LDL levels.
- LDL cholesterol levels less than 130 is best, but this depends on your risk for heart disease.
- HDL cholesterol levels 60 or higher reduces your risk for heart disease.
- Triglycerides less than 150 milligrams per deciliter is best.
Is Cholesterol A Fatty Acid
Cholesterol is an unsaturated alcohol in the steroid family of compounds it is essential for the proper functioning of all animal cells and is a central component of their cell membranes. Triglycerides are fatty acid esters of glycerol which are the primary lipid portion of animal food fats which fat deposits.
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How Can You Lower Your High Triglycerides
You can make diet and lifestyle changes to help lower your levels.
- Lose weight and stay at a healthy weight.
- Limit fats and sugars in your diet.
- Be more active.
You also may need medicine to help lower your triglycerides. But your doctor likely will ask you to try diet and lifestyle changes first.
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How Often Should I Get A Cholesterol Test
When and how often you should get a cholesterol test depends on your age, risk factors, and family history. The general recommendations are:
For people who are age 19 or younger::
- The first test should be between ages 9 to 11
- Children should have the test again every 5 years
- Some children may have this test starting at age 2 if there is a family history of high blood cholesterol, heart attack, or stroke
For people who are age 20 or older::
- Younger adults should have the test every 5 years
- Men ages 45 to 65 and women ages 55 to 65 should have it every 1 to 2 years
What Affects My Cholesterol Levels
A variety of things can affect cholesterol levels. These are some things you can do to lower your cholesterol levels:
- Diet. Saturated fat and cholesterol in the food you eat make your blood cholesterol level rise. Saturated fat is the main problem, but cholesterol in foods also matters. Reducing the amount of saturated fat in your diet helps lower your blood cholesterol level. Foods that have high levels of saturated fats include some meats, dairy products, chocolate, baked goods, and deep-fried and processed foods.
- Weight. Being overweight is a risk factor for heart disease. It also tends to increase your cholesterol. Losing weight can help lower your LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. It also raises your HDL cholesterol level.
- Physical Activity. Not being physically active is a risk factor for heart disease. Regular physical activity can help lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol levels. It also helps you lose weight. You should try to be physically active for 30 minutes on most, if not all, days.
- Smoking.Cigarette smoking lowers your HDL cholesterol. HDL helps to remove bad cholesterol from your arteries. So a lower HDL can contribute to a higher level of bad cholesterol.
Things outside of your control that can also affect cholesterol levels include:
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Cholesterol And Healthy Eating
What we eat has an impact on our cholesterol levels and can help reduce our risk of disease. The Heart Foundation recommends following a heart-healthy eating pattern, which means eating a wide variety of fresh and unprocessed foods and limiting highly processed foods including take away, baked goods, chocolate, chips, lollies and sugary drinks. Not only does this help to maintain a healthy and interesting diet, but it provides essential nutrients to the body.
A heart-healthy eating pattern includes:
- plenty of vegetables, fruit and wholegrains
- a variety of healthy protein-rich foods , legumes , nuts and seeds. Smaller amounts of eggs and lean poultry can also be included in a heart-healthy eating pattern. If choosing red meat, make sure it is lean and limit to one to three times a week
- unflavoured milk, yoghurt and cheese. People with high cholesterol should choose reduced fat varieties
- healthy fats and oils. Choose nuts, seeds, avocados, olives and their oils for cooking
- herbs and spices to flavour foods, instead of adding salt.
This way of eating is also naturally high in fibre, which is good news, because a high intake of dietary fibre can also reduce levels of bad cholesterol in the blood.
Also, be mindful of how much you are eating. Portion sizes have increased over time and many of us are eating more than we need which can increase our cholesterol and risk of heart disease.
Serving size can vary depending on age, gender and specific nutrition needs.
Diet For High Triglycerides: What To Eat And What Not To Eat
A key role in the management of high triglycerides can play it there diet. With the exception of those conditions deriving from underlying pathologies, for which the attending physician will be the most suitable reference, nutrition will be fundamental.
Anyone suffering from high triglycerides will need to pay special attention to both foods to avoid that to the recommended foods.
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What Are Normal Lipid Panel Results
The optimal level for each of the four standard tests in a lipid panel are as follows:
- Total cholesterol: Below 200 mg/dL.
- High-density lipoprotein cholesterol: Above 60 mg/dL.
- Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol: Below 100 mg/dL .
- Triglycerides: Below 150 mg/dL.
If your results are higher or lower than the target range, they may be classified as borderline-, intermediate-, or high-risk for cardiovascular issues. In general, higher-than-normal levels of total cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides and lower-than-normal levels of HDL can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Its rare to have abnormally low levels of cholesterol. If you do, its usually due to a health condition thats causing malnutrition.
What Foods Can Help Lower Triglycerides
Now that you know which foods to avoid, what foods can you add into your diet that can help support healthy triglyceride levels? Foods to emphasize are high fiber vegetables with lower sugar content, such as cruciferous vegetables, Archibald says. Including legumes, canned or cooked from their dried versions, will add both fiber and satiety to the plate.
Adding healthy omega-3 fats can be helpful as well. Among fats, seek out foods rich in omega-3 fats, which not only act as natural anti-inflammatories in the body but can also prevent the production of triglycerides and cholesterol in the liver, says Archibald.
Here are 20 foods that can lower triglycerides.
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Limit Bad Fats And Cholesterol
Research shows that there isn’t really a link between how much fat you eat and your risk of disease. The biggest influence on your risk is the type of fat you eat. Two unhealthy fats, including saturated and trans fats, increase the amount of cholesterol in your blood cholesterol and increase your risk of developing heart disease. However, two very different types of fat monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats do just the opposite. In fact, research shows that cutting back on saturated fat and replacing it with mono and polyunsaturated fats can help lower the level of LDL cholesterol in your blood.
What To Eat: Foods That Lower Cholesterol
There is great evidence to support functional foods that help lower cholesterol, Featherstun says. Add these choices to your diet:
Plant stanols and sterols These are naturally occurring compounds found in plant cell walls, Featherstun says. They interfere with cholesterol absorption in the small intestine and can help lower LDL cholesterol. A study published in October 2012 in Lipids in Health and Disease found that eating 9 to 10 grams of stanols per day can help lower LDL cholesterol by more than 17 and as much as 22 percent. You can get plant stanols and sterols in margarine-like spreads such as Benecol and Smart Balance, available in the dairy section of most grocery stores.
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats These fats can help decrease LDL cholesterol, Featherstun says. To get them, eat fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, trout, herring, or king mackerel, at least twice a week. Other good sources of unsaturated fats include chia seeds, avocados, almonds, walnuts, and olive oil.
Soy foods Soy proteins contain isoflavones and phytoestrogens, which block both cholesterol absorption and new cholesterol production, Featherstun says. Good sources of soy protein include tofu, soy milk, and edamame. Try to replace one daily animal protein item with a soy protein alternative, Featherstun suggests.
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Increase Your Intake Of Unsaturated Fats
Studies show that monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can reduce blood triglyceride levels, especially when they are replacing carbohydrates in your diet .
Monounsaturated fats are found in foods like olive oil, nuts, and avocados. Polyunsaturated fats are present in vegetable oils and fatty fish, as well as nuts and seeds such as walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia.
One older study analyzed what 452 adults in a specific population of indigenous people in Alaska had eaten over the past 24 hours, focusing on several types of saturated and polyunsaturated fats.
Researchers found that saturated fat intake was associated with increased blood triglycerides, while polyunsaturated fat intake was associated with lower triglyceride levels .
Another review of 27 studies reported that olive oil could significantly decrease levels of triglycerides, total cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol compared with other types of plant oil .
To maximize the triglyceride-lowering benefits of unsaturated fats, pick a heart-healthy fat like olive oil and use it to replace other types of fat in your diet, such as trans fats or highly processed vegetable oils .
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can decrease blood triglyceride levels, especially when they are consumed in place of other fats.
Can Lowering Carbs Actually Improve Tg/hdl Rc And Cv Risk
Yes. There is plenty of evidence showing this. Multiple studies range from clinical trials in animals and humans to meta-analyses. Here are 4 of them:
- The Abbasi study was a human clinical trial using a crossover design. People ate high carbs for 2 weeks, then low carbs for 2 weeks, with a washout period of 2 weeks in between. The high-carb diet doubled TG levels, tripled remnant cholesterol, and lowered HDL by 15% .
- The Wang study is a randomized clinical trial in laboratory mice .
- The Volek study is a meta-analysis. It reviews pre-2005 studies which had already shown that low-carb diets decrease triglycerides and remnant cholesterol while increasing HDL cholesterol level .
- The Ebbeling study was also a human subjects clinical trial. It was done at Harvard. Subjects on a low-carb diet had lower TG and higher HDL cholesterol. Also, researchers showed that low-carb diets were less likely to result in weight rebound due to improved energy expenditure and leptin .
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What Is A Lipid Panel Used For
Healthcare providers use lipid panels to help assess someones cardiovascular health by analyzing cholesterol in their blood and to help diagnose other health conditions.
Reasons a provider may order a lipid panel include:
- As a routine test to determine if your cholesterol level is normal or falls into a borderline-, intermediate- or high-risk category.
- To monitor your cholesterol level if you had abnormal results on a previous test or if you have other risk factors for heart disease.
- To monitor your bodys response to treatment, such as cholesterol medications or lifestyle changes.
- To help diagnose other medical conditions, such as liver disease.
What Are The Five Tests In A Lipid Panel
A lipid panel measures five different types of lipids from a blood sample, including:
- Total cholesterol: This is your overall cholesterol level the combination of LDL-C, VLDL-C and HDL-C.
- Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol: This is the type of cholesterol thats known as bad cholesterol. It can collect in your blood vessels and increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol: This is a type of cholesterol thats usually present in very low amounts when the blood sample is a fasting samples since its mostly comes from food youve recently eaten. An increase in this type of cholesterol in a fasting sample may be a sign of abnormal lipid metabolism.
- High-density lipoprotein cholesterol: This is the type of cholesterol thats known as good cholesterol. It helps decrease the buildup of LDL in your blood vessels.
- Triglycerides: This is a type of fat from the food we eat. Excess amounts of triglycerides in your blood are associated with cardiovascular disease and pancreatic inflammation.
While these are the main measurements in a standard lipid panel, some versions of the test may include other measurements.
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What Should I Expect During My Lipid Panel Blood Test
You can expect to experience the following during a blood test, or blood draw:
- Youll sit in a chair, and a healthcare provider will check your arms for an easily accessible vein. This is usually in the inner part of your arm on the other side of your elbow.
- Once theyve located a vein, theyll clean and disinfect the area.
- Theyll then insert a small needle into your vein to take a blood sample. This may feel like a small pinch.
- After they insert the needle, a small amount of blood will collect in a test tube.
- Once they have enough blood to test, theyll remove the needle and hold a cotton ball or gauze on the site to stop the bleeding.
- Theyll place a bandage over the site, and youll be finished.
The entire procedure usually takes less than five minutes.
How It Is Done
The health professional taking a sample of your blood will:
- Wrap an elastic band around your upper arm to stop the flow of blood. This makes the veins below the band larger so it is easier to put a needle into the vein.
- Clean the needle site with alcohol.
- Put the needle into the vein. More than one needle stick may be needed.
- Attach a tube to the needle to fill it with blood.
- Remove the band from your arm when enough blood is collected.
- Put a gauze pad or cotton ball over the needle site as the needle is removed.
- Put pressure on the site and then put on a bandage.
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Doing This For Just Minutes A Day Can Lower Your Cholesterol
Learning you have high cholesterol can be scary and overwhelming, especially if youâre not sure exactly what it means or how to fight it on your own. There are specific lifestyle and diet changes you can make right now to start lowering your cholesterol levels. But first, itâs important to better understand what high cholesterol means. Read on to find out more, and to ensure your health and the health of others, donât miss these Sure Signs You Have âLongâ COVID and May Not Even Know It.
Cholesterol Is Fat That Is Found In Our Blood Sometimes Its Called Lipids When We Hear This Word We Think Of It Building Up In Our Arteries And Contributing To Long
Healthy levels of cholesterol are vital for our cells to function and to make vitamin D and some hormones.
There are two main types HDL or high-density lipoprotein and LDL or low-density lipoprotein . If the levels of your bad cholesterol become too high and the good cholesterol too low, you are at increased risk of developing cardiovascular complications .
There are also triglycerides . These can have bad effects on your health if levels are high, too.
For many people, eating a healthy, balanced diet and being physically active is enough to keep cholesterol levels healthy. But if your bad cholesterol is high, most people need medication to lower it. And for people with diabetes, it is important that you have your levels checked every year. You can find out why itâs important in our video.
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Who Performs A Lipid Panel Blood Test
A healthcare provider called a phlebotomist usually performs blood draws, including those for a lipid panel, but any healthcare provider who is trained in drawing blood can perform this task. A provider then sends the samples to a lab where a medical laboratory scientist prepares the samples and performs the tests on machines known as analyzers.
Why Should I Lower My Cholesterol
Evidence strongly indicates that high cholesterol can increase the risk of:
- narrowing of the arteries
- transient ischaemic attack often known as a mini stroke
- peripheral arterial disease
This is because cholesterol can build up in the artery wall, restricting the blood flow to your heart, brain and the rest of your body. It also increases the risk of a blood clot developing somewhere in your body.
Your risk of developing coronary heart disease also rises as your bloods cholesterol level increases. This can cause pain in your chest or arm during stress or physical activity .
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