Cholesterol is a type of fat (lipid) found in your blood. Your liver makes cholesterol for your body, but you can also get cholesterol from the foods you eat. For many years, cholesterol has gotten a bad reputation of being “unhealthy”, but that is just one type of cholesterol. Cholesterol, doesn’t just exist in one form in the body, it actually has several forms. Cholesterol travels through the blood on proteins called “lipoproteins”. HDL, VLDL and LDL are different types of cholesterol. ⠀
High Density Lipoprotein (HDL/good cholesterol): Is called “good” cholesterol, because it absorbs cholesterol that is hanging out around cells and blood vessels and carries it back to the liver. The liver then flushes it from the body. Studies have shown that high levels of HDL cholesterol can lower your risk for hear disease and stroke.
Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL/bad cholesterol): this form is very damaging to your cardiovascular system. LDL builds up on arterial walls, making them stiff and causing blood clots. As your heart works harder to push blood through your clogged blood vessels, your blood pressure goes up. High levels of LDL cholesterol raise your risk for heart disease and stroke.⠀
Very Low Density Lipoprotein (VLDL): Is made by your liver and released into the bloodstream. The VLDL particles carry triglycerides (another type of fat), to your tissues. VLDL is similar to LDL, but LDL carries cholesterol to your tissues instead of triglycerides.
VLDL and LDL are “bad” cholesterol because they can contribute to the buildup of plaque in your arteries. The plaque that builds up is a sticky substance made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances found in the blood. Over time, the plaque hardens and narrows your arteries, which limits the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your body.
Best in Health!