Waushara County Health News

Heart Healthy: Understanding Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a soft, fatty substance found in your blood and body cells. Cholesterol is both produced by the body and found in certain foods.  Some cholesterol is needed for the body to function properly.  

Cholesterol should be measured at least once every five years when you are over the age of 20. When you get your cholesterol tested, you should get tested for your total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, and triglycerides, or what is called a lipid profile.  

High-Density Lipoproteins (HDL) are known as the good cholesterol. This type of cholesterol normally contains more protein and less fat. This usually aids in clearing the presence of bad cholesterol in the blood to avoid clogging the arteries.  

Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDL) are known as the bad cholesterol. This type of cholesterol normally contains more fats and less protein, which then can clog the arteries by building up fat on the walls of the arteries.

Triglycerides are not considered cholesterol but this is a form of fat, which floats in the blood.  Too much triglyceride increases the risk of heart problems.