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What is "Good" and "Bad" Cholesterol?

Demystifying "Good" and "Bad" Cholesterol in Your Body.
October 19, 2023

Did you know that all cholesterol is not bad? Cholesterol is carried in the blood by compounds called lipoproteins. The HDL (high density lipoprotein), also known as the "good" cholesterol is carried by the high  and LDL (low density lipoprotein), also known as  "bad" cholesterol are the 2 types of lipoproteins that carry cholesterol in the bloodstream. 

High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol: HDL cholesterol is called the "good" cholesterol because it helps remove excess cholesterol from the bloodstream and carries it back to the liver for processing and elimination. Higher levels of HDL cholesterol are associated with a lower risk of heart disease and it thus has a protective effect on your cardiovascular health. 

Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol: LDL cholesterol is called the "bad" cholesterol because it can build up in the arteries, forming plaques and contributing to ‘atherosclerosis’- making the arteries stiff, that can restrict blood flow and increase the risk of heart disease. Higher levels of LDL cholesterol are associated with an increased risk of heart disease like heart attacks and strokes.

It's important to note that while HDL and LDL cholesterol are commonly referred to as "good" and "bad" cholesterol, respectively, it's the balance between these two types that is crucial for cardiovascular health. Maintaining low levels of LDL cholesterol and high levels of HDL cholesterol is generally considered beneficial. However, it's important to work with a healthcare professional to determine your target cholesterol levels and develop an appropriate treatment plan if necessary.