Thursday, January 21, 2021

Cholesterol: Good or Bad? LDL, HDL… Which Foods?


According to the American Heart Association, cholesterol is present in the body in both good and bad varieties. The bad variety goes by the name of LDL. LDL stands for Low Density Lipoprotein. The good cholesterol goes by the name HDL. HDL stands for High Density Lipoprotein.

Due to the ever changing and volatile nature of cholesterol in the body, it is important for every one to learn about the good versus the bad cholesterol and more about the part cholesterol plays in your good health.

The Sources of Good Cholesterol

When trying to boost your consumption of HDL cholesterol, it is important to know which foods to consume and which to stay away from. HDL cholesterol is present in the following foods in abundance.

  • Onions
  • Whole Grains
  • Oats
  • Oat Bran
  • Brown Rice
  • Fruits
  • Legumes
  • Lentils
  • Olive Oil
  • Fish
  • Cold Pressed Flax Seed Oil
  • Safflower Oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Canola Oil
  • Dark Green Vegetables

The Sources of Bad Cholesterol

On the other side of the coin are the bad, or LDL cholesterols found in foods. This type of cholesterol is most commonly associated with foods that are high in saturated fats and processed ingredients. If you are trying to reduce the level of LDL cholesterol in your bloodstream, these foods should be avoided.

  • Trans Fatty Acids
  • Hydrogenated Oils
  • Vegetable Shortening
  • Refined Sugar
  • Refined Flour
  • Egg Yolk
  • Liver
  • Kidney Beans
  • Cream
  • High Fat Cheese
  • High Fat Milk

Measuring Cholesterol for Health

When it comes to measuring the bloods cholesterol levels, the individual LDL and HDL amounts in the blood are not as important as the ratio of LDL to HDL. Almost presented in fraction form, the ratio of LDL to HDL should read low/high. This means the HDL levels should be higher than the LDL levels in the blood.

Total cholesterol is also taken when blood glucose levels are checked. The total cholesterol paired with the result of the HDL / LDL comparison can tell your doctor a lot about the condition of your heart and the chance of future heart related problems.

The following chart will help you to better understand the recommended total cholesterol, HDL and LDL levels in the blood.

If your total cholesterol is:

  • 200 mg/dL or less
  • Green Light – These levels are GOOD.
  • Between 200 and 239 mg/dL
  • Yellow Light – Levels should be watched, diet and exercise changes may be advised.
  • 240 mg/dL or more
  • Red Light – Levels are too high. Medication, diet and exercise changes made immediately.

If your HDL cholesterol is:

  • Less than 40 mg/dL
  • Red Light – Levels are too low and need to be raised.
  • More than 40 mg/dL
  • Green Light – Levels are GOOD. Levels above 60 mg/dl are EXCELLENT!
  • If you are 20 years old or older, have no heart disease and your LDL cholesterol is:
  • Less than 100 mg/dL
  • Green Light – These levels are GOOD.
  • 100 – 129 mg/dL
  • Green Light – These levels are borderline and should be watched.
  • 130 – 159 mg/dL
  • Yellow Light – Levels should be watched, diet and exercise changes may be advised.
  • 160 – 189 mg/dL
  • Yellow Light – Levels should be watched, diet and exercise changes will be advised.
  • 190 mg/dL and above
  • Red Light – Levels are too high. Medication, diet and exercise changes made immediately.

Boosting HDL and Treating LDL

In many cases, the HDL / LDL balance can be maintained through an alternative therapy regime of diet and exercise. Holistic methods of treating high cholesterol are very common. In some cases, the holistic changes may need to be paired with medicinal treatments in order to reduce the chance of heart attack or heart disease that may be associated with high cholesterol levels.


  1. NG

    Fairly high chances are that palsy or ischemic heart disease like angina, myocardial infarction may occur in the middle age when the level of cholesterol is rather high. Other than these, it may also the reason of diabetes, obesity, hypothyroidism, etc.

    In the oriental medicine, it is caused by the intake of sweet or fatty foods and the amassed dampness/blood stasis due to the disorder of liver or gall bladder. Therefore, the treatments are to dissipate the impure blood and heighten the ‘yin and yang’ of spleen.

    The foods that lessen the level of cholesterol are garlic, (green) onion, barley, corn, adlay, dropwort, white cabbage, bracket fungus of the genus Fomes, cassia occidentalis, ginkgo nut, tangle weed, arrowroot, chrysanthemum, etc. The herbal medicinal stuffs of this kind are deer antlers, ginseng, the (dried) fruit of the Chinese matrimony vine, etc.

    Contrary to these, what should be avoided are ox-brain, dried squid, the yolk of an egg, eel, butter, shrimp, milk and those including saturated fat.

Medically trained in the UK. Writes on the subjects of injuries, healthcare and medicine. Contact me

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