Cholesterol has both good and bad, and this is why it is so very vital to learn what cholesterol is, and how it affects your health, as well as what you can do to lower it if the needed. There are basically two different types of cholesterol, the LDL and the HDL.
LDL is the bad form of cholesterol, when too much of it found in a person's blood, it can slowly build up on the inner walls of the arteries that feed the heart and brain, and together with other substances it is able to shape plaque in the body, which is a thick, hard deposit that can block these arteries; a circumstance which is known as atherosclerosis.
Then there is HDL is the good form of cholesterol, and this is due to a high level of it seems to protect against heart attacks. A low level of HDL levels in a person's body will in fact increase the risk of having a heart attack on a human body.
There is also another factor which must be raised in this discussion, and that is in regards to triglyceride, a form of fat that comes from food and it also made in your body. The reason that it is involved in this particular subject matter is because people with high triglycerides often found to have high total cholesterol, high LDL cholesterol and a low HDL cholesterol level.
Good Cholesterol (High Density Lipoprotein)
The cholesterol test you typically take actually measures lipoproteins. These lipoproteins are listed by their density: the measure of fat versus protein in the combination. High density means that there is more protein ratio compared to fat. High density lipoproteins (HDL) are good cholesterol. They do the necessary work assigned to cholesterol, they help to un-clog your partitions and help flush excess fat from your body.
Bad Cholesterol (Low Density Lipoprotein)
Low density lipoproteins (LDL), very low density lipoproteins (VLDL) and triglycerides (a type of fat carried by LDL and VLDL) are the main component of the bad cholesterol. If you have high number of these that they can clog your arteries thus, causing a heart attack or other heart related diseases. The normal level of bad cholesterol is 200mg / dL or less.
Bad and good cholesterol levels vary from person to person. Factors that affect cholesterol levels like being overweight, a diet with too much saturated fat and cholesterol, not enough exercise, heredity and certain medical conditions or medicines. Cholesterol tends to increase with age as well.
How you can Control and Lower Bad Cholesterol
If you have normal levels of good and bad cholesterol all you should do is ensure that you stay that way and you can do that by taking the following steps: eating healthy and exercising. Eating healthy such as having food items that are low in saturated and trans fat as well as cholesterol.
Also, get in the habit of reading your food labels as they provide all the above mentioned data by law and since it is easy for you to choose which food items are good and which are damaging for your health.
Some food items that contain high levels of cholesterol are: egg yolks, poultry, meat, shellfish, butter and cheese.
If you already have high levels of the bad cholesterol then the best thing to do is consult your doctor to prescribe you a drug that will help you lower it gradually. There are many cholesterol drugs that are available over the counter and many natural remedies as well. However, it is strongly suggested that you should not self medicate as some of the cholesterol drugs may have serious side effects, which only your doctor can point out as he is familiar with your medical history and conditions.
In general, you can always increase good cholesterol and decrease bad cholesterol by watching your food intake, exercising regularly and losing weight. You'll also need your doctor's help with the other factors. Do not worry about having too little cholesterol. That's un-likely to happen. Concentrate on building enough good cholesterol, less bad cholesterol and the rest will take care of itself.
Take a minute and learn about your good and bad cholesterol levels, watch closely your food intake and that of your family making them aware as well of the importance of staying below the limits of the bad cholesterol. Just a few minutes of self-education can save your life or one of your family member's.