And LDL, and HDL
What Cholesterol is
Cholesterol is a type of a lipid that is needed in your body. It is produced by the liver or is found in other foods. Cholesterol is needed for proper cell function and is carried in the blood stream. As important as cholesterol is, like all other fats it has to be at proper amounts or health issues will occur.
LDL or low density lipoprotein is the 'bad' cholesterol. It sticks to the walls of your veins and causes blockage. Higher LDL can raise the risk of heart attacks and stroke form blood clots. You can get tests to check your levels of LDL and there is diets and medication that helps lower the levels of LDL. LDL also tends to be larger in size compared to HDL. Another reason why LDL is not good to have is that drops off cholesterol as it travels the blood stream which causes the clots.
HDL or High density lipoprotein is the 'good' cholesterol. This is the type of cholesterol you want to get in your diet because unlike LDL HDL doesn't stick to your vein walls. HDL removes LDL as it travels through the blood stream where it recycles LDL by bringing it to the liver where it can be reprocessed. People with High HDL have a lesser risk for heart disease. HDL is also smaller then LDL. To get higher levels of HDL a healthy diet and exercise are great ways to rise HDL levels, medication can also be used to rise HDL.
To see how much LDL and HDL you have different test can be done to measure your levels. Everyone should have their first screening at 35 for men and 45 for women some may even should have it at age 20. The reason why doctors monitor the levels of HDL and LDL is to see if a patient is prone to heart attack or stroke, and in those cases LDL would be the cause.
Other Things Tied With Cholesterol
There are a few things that are tied with cholesterol like different kinds of fat and other things in the body. Different intakes of fat can affect your cholesterol. Unsaturated fat will lower total cholesterol and LDL, this is the type of fat you want in your diet. Saturated fat and Trans Fat are the fats that will raise the levels of LDL which is why you should avoid these types of fats. Other molecules tested in a cholesterol test are triglycerides, which are an ester formed form glycerol and three fatty acid groups. They are also the main constitutes of of natural fats and oil, if to much triglycerides are found in the blood there is a elevated risk of stroke.
LDL info http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/ldl-cholesterol-the-bad-cholesterol
HDL & LDL Test Info https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/patientinstructions/000386.htm