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What Is The Difference Between Hdl And Ldl Cholesterol

What Does Ldl Cholesterol Do

Cholesterol: HDL vs. LDL

LDL is considered the bad cholesterol. It carries cholesterol to your arteries, where it may collect in the vessel walls and contribute to plaque formation, known as atherosclerosis. This can lead to decreased blood flow to the heart muscle , leg muscles , or abrupt closure of an artery in the heart or brain, leading to a heart attack or stroke. Over a third of the US population has high LDL cholesterol. Diagnosis is made via blood testing, so if you dont check, you wont know.

For LDL, the lower the number the better. A good goal to keep in mind is less than 130 mg/dL if you dont have atherosclerotic disease or diabetes. It should be no more than 100 mg/dL, or even 70mg/dL, if you have any of those conditions or high total cholesterol. Its very important to set your own target cholesterol levels with your doctor. Obesity, a large waist circumference, a sedentary lifestyle, or a diet rich in red meat, full-fat dairy, saturated fat, trans fats, and processed foods can lead to high LDL cholesterol.

So Now That You Actually Understand The Differences Between The Three And Some Of The Science There What Does That Mean For Your Diet

After all, some people say that saturated fat is bad because of the LDLs, but I would disagree with that. Because while scientists are still studying this, a lot of studies are showing that the lipoproteins of saturated fats are too big to really get stuck in the arteries, and what you really need to worry about are trans fats and also sugars. Please don’t skimp on the avocados, olive oil, eggs, nuts, chia seeds, and fish doing so can actually increase LDL. These foods are known to increase HDL!

Overall, like I always say, a diet that is high in veggies, maybe a bit lower in fruits because of all the sugars, and is high in healthy omega-3s is going to keep you living longer. In fact, a lot of people know this diet as the Mediterranean diet.

What Are Normal Levels Of Cholesterol

Normal levels of cholesterol are different depending on your age and sex. These guidelines show desirable total, non-HDL,LDL and HDL levels by age and sex.

Table 1: Target cholesterol levels by age and sex

Age and sex



People aged 19 years and younger Men aged 20 years and olderWomen aged 20 years and older

The table above spells out the numbers for normal cholesterol levels. The table below shows you cholesterol levels that are higher than normal. High cholesterol numbers vary by age group and sex, and may be different for those who have heart disease. These guidelines represent high cholesterol numbers for those who do not have heart disease.

Table 2: High total, non-HDL and LDL cholesterol levels by age and sex

Age and sex
People aged 19 years and younger

Borderline: 170-199 mg/dL

High: Greater than or equal to 200 mg/dL

Borderline: 120-144 mg/dL

High: Greater than or equal to 145 mg/dL

Borderline: 110-129 mg/dL

High: Greater than or equal to 130 mg/dL

High: Greater than or equal to 239 mg/dL

Near optimal or above optimal: 100-129 mg/dL

Borderline high: 130-159 mg/dL

Very high: Greater than 189 mg/dL

High: Greater than or equal to 239 mg/dL

Near optimal or above optimal: 100-129 mg/dL

Borderline high: 130-159 mg/dL

Very high: Greater than 189 mg/dL

LDL cholesterol levels

If you do not have heart disease or blood vessel disease, and you are not at high risk for developing heart disease, the optimal number is less than 100 mg/dL.


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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:

Summary Hdl Vs Ldl Cholesterol

B.4.2 Outline the difference between HDL and LDL ...

In summarizing the difference between HDL and LDL cholesterol, cholesterol is an essential fat for the good health of the human body as it puts together the building blocks of cells and system function. Our body makes cholesterol, and we also consume food that contains cholesterol. There are two types of cholesterols as good cholesterol and bad cholesterol . HDL transports bad cholesterol from other parts of our body back to the liver and removes them from the body. It reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes. However, a high level of LDL causes atherosclerosis ending up with morbidity and mortality.

Besides, a high level of cholesterol in our body is mainly due to an unhealthy living style that includes unhealthy eating patterns, smoking, lack of physical activities, etc. So in order to lower your cholesterol levels, you must engage in regular physical activities and weight management while following a heart-healthy eating plan.


1. Cholesterol. MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 5 Feb. 2019, Available here.2. Cholesterol. Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 17 Feb. 2019, Available here.

Image Courtesy:

2. Hdl1 By Rfch Own work via Commons Wikimedia

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How To Raise Hdl Cholesterol

When levels of HDL cholesterol are too low , your risk for atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke increase. Lowering the level of LDL will naturally boost good cholesterol if your HDL level is low.

“A person’s cholesterol is the result of genetic factors, which are not modifiable, and dietary and lifestyle factors which are,” says Dr. Di Giorgio.

So quitting smoking, adopting a heart-healthy diet, losing weight, and doing aerobic exercise all have positive effects on HDL as well.

Hdl Good Cholesterol And Ldl Bad Cholesterol: What Is The Difference

Health Tips

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a fatty substance found in cells and is produced in small amounts all over the body, especially in the liver, where it is also stored and metabolised. There is also an exogenous source of cholesterol provided by diet, from foods derived from animals, especially those high in saturated fat, red meat, dairy products, egg yolk, seafood, etc.

How does cholesterol work in the body?

It plays a role in vital processes for the body, but an excess will cause problems, especially if it builds up in the bloodstream, causing what is known as atherosclerosis and leading to circulatory and cardiac problems , as well as problems in the brain or lower limbs .

Cholesterol circulates between the liver and other tissues, but it is a substance that is poorly soluble in water and so needs to bind to certain proteins to circulate through the bloodstream. These proteins are called lipoproteins, in particular high-density lipoproteins and low-density lipoproteins .

The difference between bad cholesterol and good cholesterol

LDL cholesterol, also called bad cholesterol, contributes to the formation of fatty deposits in the arteries, which, over time and added to other factors, can cause them to become narrowed and blocked. This means that the tissues that received their food and oxygen through the blood will suffer or even die . Blood clots can also occur in the vascular system, especially in the lower limbs, with the formation of thrombosis.

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Difference Between Hdl And Ldl

January 12, 2011 Posted by Olivia


For many people, the word cholesterol has been highly associated with negativities concerning ones overall health. People are avoiding the consumption of cholesterol with the belief that it can cause serious medical problems such as heart conditions. Little do most people know that there are actually two major types of cholesterol the body gets access to. Determining and understanding the difference between HDL and LDL is a good start to improve ones health condition.

LDL, or Low Density Lipoprotein, is just one of the five groups of lipoproteins in the body. Their main function is to allow the transport of lipids such as cholesterol and triglycerides through the bloodstream. LDL particles have the capacity to carry cholesterol to the artery and be retained there. As a result, macrophages are attracted, which causes plaques to be formed. The vulnerable ones end up rupturing while blood clotting starts to occur. All these can be manifested in a case of stroke or a heart attack.

Basically, LDL is considered to be the bad cholesterol. In cases when too much of LDL is present in the blood, it can be really harmful to the body. There are different methods of lowering the levels of LDL in the body. Medications that are equipped with HM-CoA reductase inhibiting properties can be really helpful. Dietary changes can also work in achieving this goal. Lessening the amount of body fats stored in the body is best way to do it.

What Are The Similarities Between Hdl And Ldl Cholesterol

Real Queston: Difference Between HDL and LDL Cholesterol?
  • HDL and LDL cholesterol are two types of cholesterol present in our body.
  • Also, both are lipoproteins that help in the transport of lipids from one organ to the other.
  • Moreover, they have a similar, basic makeup at the molecular level with hydrophilic heads jutting out and hydrophobic/lipophilic tails jutting into the cholesterol particles.
  • Besides, when they are at normal levels, they are good for our health.
  • A blood test can measure both types.

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How To Lower Ldl Cholesterol

Lifestyle and diet changes are the main ways to prevent or lower high LDL. A trial of eating a low-fat diet, regular aerobic activity, maintaining a healthy weight, and smaller waist circumference is an appropriate first step. It is best to set a timeline to achieve your goals with your doctor. In some cases, if those lifestyle changes are not enough, your physician may suggest a cholesterol lowering medication, such as a statin. If you are considering over-the-counter herbal or ayurvedic medications for cholesterol, please discuss those with your physician first as well.

Rarely, very high LDL is genetic and passed down in families. This is called familial hypercholesterolemia and is caused by a genetic mutation that decreases the livers ability to clear excess cholesterol. This condition can lead to very high LDL levels, and heart attack or stroke at a young age in multiple generations. Those individuals may require special medical treatment for prevention and treatment of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

Remember, knowledge is the first step. If you dont know your cholesterol levels, get tested. That will give you and your physician a starting point for lifestyle changes and medications if needed. In the meantime, adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle, and do it with friends and family no matter their ages. Theres no time like the present to prevent heart disease.

What Factors Affect Cholesterol Levels

A variety of factors can affect your cholesterol levels. They include:

  • Diet: Saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol in the food you eat increase cholesterol levels. Try to reduce the amount of saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol in your diet. This will help lower your blood cholesterol level. Saturated and trans fat have the most impact on blood cholesterol.
  • Weight: In addition to being a risk factor for heart disease, being overweight can also increase your triglycerides. Losing weight may help lower your triglyceride levels and raise your HDL.
  • Exercise: Regular exercise can lower total cholesterol levels. Exercise has the most effect on lowering triglycerides and raising HDL. You should try to be physically active for 30 minutes on most days of the week.
  • Age and sex: As we get older,cholesterol levels rise. Before menopause, women tend to have lower total cholesterol levels than men of the same age. After menopause, however, womens LDL levels tend to rise and HDL can drop.
  • Heredity: Your genes partly determine how much cholesterol your body makes. High blood cholesterol can run in families.

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What Is High Cholesterol

High cholesterol is one of the most common health problems in the United States, affecting more than 100 million adults. This condition is also symptomless, so many people that have the condition may be unaware until it causes a serious complication.

Cholesterol itself is a lipid, which is a type of fat. It is a wax-like substance that is naturally produced by your liver to create certain hormones and cell membranes. Although cholesterol has an important function, it can also cause you harm. When a person has high levels of cholesterol, the substance can build up and cause blockages in your arteries. It is these blockages that lead to complications such as heart attack, heart disease, and stroke.

The risk of high cholesterol increases as you get older. It is recommended that all adults older than 20 have their cholesterol levels checked every four to six years. Along with age, other factors can also increase your risk of this condition. One of the major risk factors for high cholesterol is being overweight or obese. Another key risk factor is diet. Eating high levels of saturated or trans fats, foods, processed meat, and sugary desserts can also increase your cholesterol levels. Other risk factors can include smoking, physical inactivity, certain medical conditions, or having a family member with high cholesterol.


Are There Ways To Increase Good Cholesterol Levels

Difference Between LDL and Triglycerides

Nutrition, physical activity status and body weight all play a role in improving or damaging your overall health. Its definitely a health investment to put time and effort into your diet and level of exercise. Smoking tobacco products and obesity are both risk factors for low good cholesterol and high bad cholesterol which may lead to a number of poor health outcomes.

A helpful note on the term HDL or high-density lipoproteins:

Cholesterol travels through the blood attached to proteins. Different forms of cholesterol are also known as lipids. So when you combine the two, you get lipoproteins.

Good cholesterol is referred to as lipoproteins which are of a high density. High density lipoproteins are compact and complex proteins with the ability to carry cholesterol from the blood to the liver.

Next up, lets take a look at what you need to know about bad cholesterol.

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Ldl Is Bad Cholesterol

Higher LDL levels are associated with a heightened risk of heart disease and stroke.

A 2019 study in The Lancet found that, in the long term, having high levels of non-HDL cholesterol contributes to cardiovascular risk factors, even for men and women younger than 45 years old. By cutting non-HDL levels in half, women could reduce their risk from 4% to 16% percent, while men could reduce it from 6% to 29% percent.

The effect can be particularly bad in the coronary arteries, which bring blood to your heart, says Bales. A higher LDL and lower HDL could mean you’re at risk for atherosclerosis, which is the thickening and stiffening of arteries restricted by too much plaque, and can lead to a heart attack.

It’s good to keep LDL levels below 100 mg/dL, Bales says. But if someone has additional heart disease risk factors like a family history of heart disease, high blood pressure, or smoking it should be even lower, around 70 mg/dL. These risk factors may indicate a higher chance for heart disease, so your doctor will want you to maintain better LDL levels.

How Is High Cholesterol Treated

There are several ways to lower high blood cholesterol , including lifestyle changes or medication, or both. Your healthcare provider will work with you to determine which therapy is best for you.

Lifestyle modifications

Healthcare providers like to start with the least invasive treatments when possible, such as lifestyle changes. Youll be advised to:

  • Avoid tobacco. If you do smoke, quit. Smoking is bad for you in many ways, and reducing your level of good cholesterol is one of them.
  • Change the way you eat. Limit the amount of trans fats and saturated fat. Eat heart-healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, poultry, fish and whole grains. Limit red meat, sugary products and dairy products made with whole milk.
  • Get more exercise. Try to get about 150 minutes of physical activity every week, or about 30 minutes per day for most days of the week.
  • Keep a healthy weight. If you need to lose weight, talk to your healthcare provider about safe ways to do this. Youll see results even before you reach your ideal weight. Losing even 10% of your body weight makes a difference in your cholesterol levels.
  • Reduce the effect of negative emotions. Learn healthy ways to deal with anger, stress or other negative emotions.
  • Control blood sugar and blood pressure. Make sure you follow your healthcare providers instructions for blood sugar levels, especially if you have diabetes, and for keeping blood pressure in the healthy range.


  • Atorvastatin .
  • Simvastatin .
  • Pitavastatin .

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