Which Is the Good Cholesterol, HDL or LDL?


Quick Answer

HDL, an abbreviation for high-density lipoprotein, is known as the good cholesterol, says WebMD. LDL, an abbreviation for low-density lipoprotein, is considered to be the bad cholesterol. The levels of these two types of cholesterol are used to calculate an individual's total cholesterol level.

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Full Answer

The reason why high-density lipoprotein is considered to be the good cholesterol is because it transports cholesterol back to the liver, says WebMD. This allows for cholesterol to be removed from the bloodstream. High-density lipoprotein levels can be raised by getting more aerobic exercise, which lowers blood pressure and allows for the relaxation of the blood vessels.

Low-density lipoprotein levels can be reduced by avoiding foods that contain high amounts of saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol, says WebMD. These bad types of fat should be replaced with foods that contain high amounts of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which are also known as good fats. Also, consuming insoluble fiber, which is found in foods such as pectin, psyllium, and oats, can lower the levels of bad cholesterol.

Medications known as statins not only lower the levels of bad cholesterol, but also raise the levels of good cholesterol says WebMD. This lowers the possibility of heart disease for many people.

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