Knowing the Good and Bads of Cholesterol
- Posted on: Nov 15 2015
At COR Medical, we’re all about taking care of your heart. Drs. Caren and Urman are recognized by their peers to be among the top cardiologists in Los Angeles. Still, the best treatment is knowledge, especially if it can pre-empt issues such as heart disease.
To that end, here are some facts about cholesterol.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a waxy fat-like substance made by the liver. It occurs naturally in the body, and is present in foods we eat. Cholesterol is a necessary part of normal body function, as it is in the walls of every cell in the body.
Why is cholesterol a concern then?
Too much cholesterol is the problem, as it raises your chance of cardiovascular diseases. If you have too much cholesterol, it can build up on the walls of the arteries that carry blood to your heart. This buildup means less blood and oxygen get to your heart, leading to life-threatening problems such as strokes and heart attacks.
Bad vs. good cholesterol
HDL (high density lipoprotein) cholesterol is known as “good” cholesterol. HDL takes the “bad” cholesterol (LDL, low density lipoprotein) out of your blood and keeps it from building up in the arteries. LDL cholesterol is “bad” because it builds up in the arteries.
How much cholesterol is too much
With overall cholesterol, the target number is under 200. But the more important numbers are LDL and HDL. A number of 190 and above for LDL is considered a serious risk factor for a heart attack and other issues with clogged arteries. Since HDL protects against heart disease, too low a number is dangerous. For HDL, a level less than 40 is considered a risk factor. Numbers of 60 and above lower your risk for heart disease.
What makes your cholesterol levels rise?
Eating too much red meat, whole milk dairy products, egg yolks, and some kinds of fish can make your levels rise. More critical, though, is that being overweight can make your bad cholesterol numbers rise, while lowering your good cholesterol numbers.
Managing your cholesterol is just one of the services we offer at COR Medical. Our staff is dedicated to your heart health. Give us a call at 310-659-0715 and let’s talk about your heart health.
Posted in: Heart Health Blog