HDL vs LDL: Good vs Bad Cholestrol
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HDL vs LDL: Good vs Bad Cholesterol
The two type of cholesterol of which many people identify as the good and bad versions both have a purpose in your body. But what is it about them that mean people are talking about HDL vs LDL: Good Vs Bad Cholesterol?
We are going to take a look at what each of these are, and why they have the reputations they do.
What is HDL? (Good Cholesterol)
High Density Cholesterol is considered to be the angel of the cholesterol world. But why is this? Well, it is believed to be a cleanser or scavenger depending on who you talk to. Either way, it travels through your bloodstream, picking up LDL cholesterol and taking it to the liver. From here it is broken down and moved around the body.
Healthy levels of this can help to stave off the risk of some of the negative effects of LDL Cholesterol which include stroke and heart attack.
What is LDL? (Bad Cholesterol)
Thumbs down to this cholesterol, it’s the unfortunate kind that no one wants. It has less than desirable traits than HDL in that it actually blocks arteries by causing a buildup of fat in the arteries (known as atherosclerosis, basically the clogging up of arteries caused by fat waste, calcium, cholesterol and other unwanted deposits).
According to heart.org when the arteries are blocked, even partially, it raises the risk of heart attack, stroke and peripheral artery disease.
What is The Difference Between Good and Bad Cholesterol?
Essentially, one can contribute towards negative effects, and the other one can protect you from them. Harvard.edu advise that low levels of HDL can contribute towards various health risks, not just heart disease. Therefore it is important to ensure a healthy level of HDL is maintained.
The easiest way to remember the difference is that one (HDL aka Good cholesterol) helps to protect your blood vessels from narrowing to a dangerous level.
And the other (LDL – the bad stuff) has a negative effect on your blood vessels, narrowing them through fatty build up.
These are found in fat from food that you eat, as well as the fat you store in your body.They can be found in various foods including dairy, meats, starchy veg, sugar drinks, butter and more.
HeartUK advise that triglycerides have two purposes, one is that they are taken up by the cells and tissues to be used for energy, and the other is that they are stored as fat.
Eating a meal high in these means the level of triglycerides in your blood is raised for hours before they return to a normal level.The more triglycerides in your system, the less HDL there will be.
What About The Numbers?
All the fats in your blood, as well as HDL and LDL cholesterols combined, make up your overall cholesterol.
It is important to take a look at your levels so you can determine how at risk you are of cholesterol-related diseases.
This is where you can examine how much of each of these cholesterols are in your system to find out if you are in danger of blocked arteries, and in turn serious health issues that you can protect yourself against.
The more HDL cholesterol there is, the less likely you are to suffer from a stroke or heart disease.
Also, consider triglycerides. These come into the equation when examining your cholesterol. High levels of triglycerides increase the risk of heart disease and can also be a sign of metabolic syndrome.
This is when you have a combination of high blood sugar, high blood pressure, excess fat around the waist, low HDL and high triglycerides. Metabolic Syndrome increases your risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke (WebMD).
Here is an idea of what health cholesterol levels should look like from Healthstatus.com:
What Causes LDL? And How Can I Lower It?
Sometimes it can be something as simple as your genetics that cause higher levels of LDL. But there are other causes that are self-inflicted. These include a diet that is high in the wrong fats, excess weight, a poor lifestyle.
By this we mean, a lifestyle that involves smoking and too much alcohol.
Diabetes is another cause.
Lowering the level of LDL in your body can be achieved by a change in your lifestyle and a few tweaks to your diet.
Eating more of the foods that are good for you is a good place to start. Try eating things such as beans (not in a sugary, tomato-based sauce), fruits and vegetables (non-starchy), leafy greens, whole grains, nuts, black tea amongst others.
An important thing to remember if you take anything from this HDL Vs LDL: Good Vs Bad Cholesterol article – it is also advisable to discuss this with your doctor if you are concerned about any risks to your health.
How Can I Increase HDL?
It is probably easier to lower LDL levels than raise HDL, just because diet is not as effective, although there are some things you can do.
If you are a smoker, then quitting is your first step towards higher HDL.
Changing your diet is another good place to start though, reducing the amount of fat you consume will be kinder on your heart and HDL levels, high amounts of fiber help too.
Reducing sugar is another step that will see your HDL creep up.
HDL Vs LDL: Good Vs Bad Cholesterol: How Can I Lower Cholesterol Levels?
This is the question that could save your life if you are at risk.
What you are looking for here is a way to increase the HDL levels in your body, and lower the LDL.
This can be achieved from eating the right foods that are low in fat, exercising and losing weight.
Start by considering a change in the foods you eat though as this might be the easiest place to start.
Saturated fats will raise your cholesterol levels. Therefore, a positive change would be to avoid cut down the amount of saturated fats you eat significantly if they make up a large part of your food consumption.
These can include:
- Sausages and meats high in fat
- Hard cheese
- Drinks high in sugar
- Sugar in general
You should be looking to replace these with grains, fruit, non-starchy veg, poultry, nuts and fish.
Coconut oil is also high in saturated fat, but not all saturated fats are created equal so it can get a bit complicated trying to sort the good from the bad.
HDL Vs LDL: Good Vs Bad Cholesterol: Body Fat and Cholesterol
This is part of looking after yourself.
Since increased body fat levels can slow down your metabolism and is part of the blocking of arteries, reducing body fat is good for your overall health.
If you are determined to reduce body fat to kick-start a new and healthy lifestyle, or just want some help with shifting some of the excess, then a fat burner just might be what you are looking for.
Fat burning ingredients help to give you the following:
- Faster Fat Loss
- Less of an Appetite
- More Energy
- Increased Motivation
HDL Vs LDL: Good Vs Bad Cholesterol – What Can Help?
Only the better supplements on the market will be able to provide this and be completely safe. Our top recommended fat burner is Instant Knockout. Quite frankly, it is the most effective we have seen.
It contains 100% natural ingredients including all the best available such as Green Tea, Glucomannan, Caffeine, Vitamin B6, Cayenne Pepper and more.
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No wonder so many people have added their testimonial to YouTube and other websites.
There is also the fact that UFC fighter Diego Sanchez uses this product and is willing to put his name to it. Diego uses Instant Knockout to get shredded and shift some fat before a bout.
Ultimately, a healthy lifestyle and diet can do wonders for optimal HDL and LDL levels. This is the main thing to take from this HDL Vs LDL: Good Vs Bad Cholesterol article. A fat burner can help you to shift some extra fat to help along the way. As well as increase your energy levels.
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Professional b-boy (breakdancer) and all-round health, fitness, weightlifting, calisthenics, climbing and movement addict since childhood! Raised by health and nutrition obsessed parents, he’s keen to research and question everything. Oliver absolutely loves learning, optimizing and improving himself and his performance and has a passion for helping others to achieve the same!