Low-density lipoprotein is a molecule that is a combination of lipid (fat) and protein. Lipoproteins are the form in which lipids are transported in the blood. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) transports cholesterol from the liver to the tissues of the body. Cholesterol is actually very important to your body. Your body needs some cholesterol to work properly.
What is the difference between HDL and LDL?
There are different types of cholesterol that affect the body differently. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) removes extra cholesterol and plaque buildup in your arteries then sends it to your liver, which is then passed from your body. In contrast, low-density lipoproteins are known as bad cholesterol because high LDL levels lead to a buildup of cholesterol in your arteries which can increase your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
If you have high LDL levels, this means that you have too much LDL cholesterol in your blood. This extra LDL can form a fatty substance called plaque in your arteries, which causes a condition called atherosclerosis. When arteries become blocked with too much plaque buildup, it causes the arteries to become hardened and narrowed, which lessens your blood flow or blocks the flow to your heart.
Living a Healthy Lifestyle
Therapeutic lifestyle changes (TLC) consist of several parts to help lower cholesterol. Maintaining a healthy diet, managing your weight, and engaging in regular physical activity are all great ways to help manage your LDL cholesterol. There are instances where lifestyle changes may not lower your cholesterol enough. Your doctor will be able to prescribe cholesterol-reducing drugs to help reduce your cholesterol. There are a few available, including statins. Your doctor can help decide which type is right for you.
Even if you’re having to take cholesterol-reducing drugs, you should still continue with the lifestyle changes. Any medicines you do take to help reduce your cholesterol will work better if you have healthy habits.
Maintain Heart Health
Lower your low-density lipoproteins and lower your cholesterol. Set yourself for healthy heart success and talk to your healthcare provider about your concerns for your heart health.