One of the most confusing topics in the world of health and wellness is cholesterol. What is the ideal cholesterol ratio? What is HDL and LDL cholesterol? And how can you make sure that you are doing everything right in order to maintain the appropriate cholesterol level? Check out the information below to clarify all of these important questions.
What Is HDL and LDL Cholesterol?
Put simply, cholesterol is nothing more than a fatty substance in your blood. It occurs naturally, as your body forms it in the liver. However, you can also ingest cholesterol from some of the foods that you eat.
Cholesterol has a bad reputation, but it is actually beneficial and necessary, as it works on performing vital functions throughout your body. For example, cholesterol can help form hormones and tissue, and it also works on protecting nerves, assisting with digestion, and forming cell structure.
There are two types of cholesterol, and they are known as LDL (bad) cholesterol and HDL (good) cholesterol. Having too much LDL cholesterol without having enough HDL cholesterol could increase your risk of stroke and heart disease. That is why maintaining the appropriate ratio is so important.
What Is the Ideal Cholesterol Ratio?
To avoid health problems, you can work with your doctor to maintain the right ratio of total cholesterol to good cholesterol. The best way to know your cholesterol numbers is by getting a blood test.
You can determine your body’s cholesterol ratio by dividing the total cholesterol by your HDL cholesterol. As an example, if your total cholesterol is 200, but your HDL is 50, your ratio would be 4:1.
The ideal cholesterol ratio will be under 3.5:1. Anything higher would indicate that you have an increased risk of developing heart disease.
How Can You Maintain a Healthy Cholesterol Level?
If your doctor finds that your LDL level is too high, there are ways to lower it and boost your HDL level at the same time. For example, you can change your diet, start exercising more, and even take prescriptions that can help control your cholesterol. Once you have reached the right cholesterol ratio, your doctor can give you even more tips on how to maintain that healthy level.
Now that you have a better understanding of cholesterol, the different types of cholesterol, and your cholesterol ratio, you can take yet another step towards improving and maintaining your health.