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Need to lower your cholesterol? Here's what the jargon and numbers really mean

by , 04 June 2014

If you've recently been diagnosed with high cholesterol, you've probably had a lipid profile. Here's what your cholesterol readings actually mean…

If you’re going to lower your cholesterol, you need to understand the numbers and the jargon

Now that you’ve received the news, your aim should be to lower your cholesterol to prevent heart problems. But understanding the numbers and the jargon isn’t as easy as it may seem at first.
Here’s what you should know…
  1. Lipid profile: This is the blood test your doctor performs to determine your cholesterol levels.
  2. LDL cholesterol: This is “bad” cholesterol. It can build up on the walls of your arteries and cause plaque. This is what puts you at risk for chronic heart disease. If your LDL level is 190 or more, it’s too high and you’ll need to lower your cholesterol.
  3. HDL cholesterol: This is the ‘good’ cholesterol. The higher this number, the better. HDL protects against chronic heart disease by removing the LDL cholesterol from the blood and away from your arteries.
  4. Total cholesterol: This is a combination of your LDL, HDL and other lipids. This reading will enable your doctor to determine your risk for chronic heart disease.
  5. Triglycerides: These are fats we get from the food we eat. Your body converts alcohol, sugar and excess calories into triglycerides and stores them in your fat cells. The higher your triglyceride number, the higher your risk for chronic heart disease. Anything from 200 and up is considered high triglycerides. You’re borderline if your triglyceride reading falls between 150 and 199. 
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Keep a close eye on your cholesterol numbers to help prevent heart disease

If your LDL cholesterol is over 90 and your triglycerides over 150, put a plan together to lower your cholesterol before it causes damage to your arteries. Read about the seven foods that help lower your cholesterol here…

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