Cholesterol

Cholesterol becomes a health issue as we age. If you had a blood test recently, you may have been screened for your lipid profile (blood fats).

The report usually includes reports of HDL (high density lipoprotein), LDL(low density lipoprotein), VDL (very low density lipoprotein). It often includes your triglyceridesalso.

If you already know the meanings of the terms and their implications for your heart health, you may want to skip down to PART II of this page where you will find a some ways to reduce 'bad' LDL blood lipids and triglycerides AND some ways increase good HDL blood lipids.

Understaning your test results

  1. HDL (High density lipoprotein) is sometimes called the 'good cholesterol' because one of the things it does is prevent the build up of plaque in your blood vessels, thus allowing your blood to flow freely into your heart. So, having high numbers here is a good thing.
    • Desirable HDL levels are greater than 60 millimeters per deciliter of blood (For those in the USA, a liter is just over a quart, 1.056688209 to be exact) A deciliter is 1/10 a liter.
    • HDL that is between 35 and 59 millimeters is considered 'borderline'
    • Anything below 35 mg, is considered a 'high risk' heart condition
  2. LDL (Low density lipoprotein) is the 'bad' cholesterol. It increases the risk of developing deposits of plaque in your blood vessels. Such deposits narrow the blood vessel, making it harder for your blood to flow freely. Plaque can so block a blood vessel that your heart can not get enough blood. This situation can lead to a heart attack.
    • The desirable range for LDL less that 200 millgrams per deciliter (1/10 a liter).
    • Borderline High LDL is 200 - 239 milligrams per deciliter
    • High LDL is anything above 240 mg/dl
    • But, and this is important, it is not just your LDL by itself that counts. What is important is the ratio between your HDL and your LDL. If you have high HDL(good cholesterol) , this off sets some risk of any LDL that might be a bit higher than desirable
  3. Finally there is VLDL (Very low density lipoprotein). This is the kind that can be converted into LDL (bad) and so having a low number is considered an asset

Part II: Improving your blood lipid profile.

If your LDL, VLD results are high, your health care provider may suggest your taking a pharmaceutical drug.

But before you go that route, you may want to consider some of the natural alternatives. They not only do natural methods cost less (If you live in the USA, remember the drug insurance 'doughnut hole') but many of these natural alternatives will also benefit your brain (cognitive functioning) and your mood.

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