Discussing HDL and LDL Cholesterol

This page discusses HDL and LDL cholesterol.

Cholesterol is transported to and from the cells by lipoproteins which act as carriers. This is necessary because cholesterol is unable to dissolve in blood.

High-density lipoprotein, or HDL, is known as the "good" cholesterol. On the other hand, low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, is referred to as the "bad" cholesterol. Along with Lp cholesterol and triglycerides, these all make up your total cholesterol count.

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A note about Discussing HDL and LDL Cholesterol

In natural health and healing, we believe in holistic health and healing, as we realize that different parts of the human body are highly interlinked, often beyond Man's understanding. We also believe that the body has the ability to heal itself of any disease, even supposedly incurable diseases.

In order to do so, the body needs the support of some basic dietary and lifestyle good health habits, such as a full body detox and a proper understanding and application of nutrition. No matter how remote or unrelated a health condition may seem, these fundamental health steps will greatly magnify the effects and benefits of any of our health-promoting efforts, including the use of specific natural health remedies.

So why is LDL "bad" cholesterol? When too much of it goes through the blood at once, it can gradually build up on the artery walls that lead to the brain and heart. Along with other things that can build up, plaque can form, and this makes the arteries lose their flexibility. It can even make them get narrower. Eventually, if a clot forms, then the artery can get blocked and a heart attack or a stroke can occur. A high level of LDL can increase a person's chances of developing coronary heart disease.

How, then, are HDL and LDL cholesterol different?

HDL is "good" cholesterol because high levels of it can actually protect you against having a heart attack. It follows that having low levels of HDL can increase your chances of having a heart attack. Studies show that cholesterol can be carried by HDL from the arteries to the liver, where it is disposed of. Some medical professionals even think that HDL can remove the extra cholesterol from arteries and plaque, which can reduce the buildup. The liver is a very important organ in these processes, because it removes LDL from the blood.

So that is the main distinction between HDL and LDL cholesterol.

In discussing HDL and LDL cholesterol, it is important to understand that both diets and genetics have a significant influence on a person's LDL, HDL and total cholesterol levels. If it's diet that is elevating the LDL, then simple lifestyle and dietary changes can lower it.

Useful Foods to Lower LDL Cholesterol

Incorporating certain foods into your diet, and avoiding other types of food, can help decrease your LDL levels and thus improve your HDL and LDL cholesterol profile.

Ground flaxseed is a very good addition to your diet. It contains fibers, healthy oils, as well as proteins, and can reduce your LDL cholesterol level.

Oat bran is also good for this because is has twice the fiber of oatmeal. You can sprinkle both of these over hot cereals, or use them as cereal on their own with a little bit of warm milk or water. Some people enjoy sprinkling it over their yogurt, too.

Raw nuts can also be a good thing to incorporate into your cholesterol lowering diet. The best nuts are those that are coated with fiber, like hazelnuts, almonds, and pecans. You can eat as many as you want, but 1/4 cup per day will give you the best effects.

Foods to avoid include sugary snacks, wheat, and cornstarch.

You don't have to cut sugar out completely, however, because dark chocolate can be good for you as long as you don't over do it. If it contains 70 percent or more of cocoa, then it can have LDL reducing effects. Two inches of dark chocolate per day will give you the full benefits.

HDL and LDL Cholesterol - Conclusion

Those are the dietary changes that can decrease your LDL levels. Using such natural health methods to lower your levels is certainly a safe and effective choice.

To learn more about HDL and LDL cholesterol, you may wish to read the other related cholesterol articles and pages.

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