Knowing your cholesterol level is a step in the right direction toward keeping your cardiovascular system in good working order. It is important to know your total cholesterol number, which doctors would like us to keep under 200. There are two kinds of cholesterol in our blood. One is bad and one is good. Let's clarify what is bad and what is good.
LDL Cholesterol is BAD!!! LDL stands for Low Density Cholesterol. Some people think this means it is good. It is not. Think of it as fluffy, sticky marshmallow cream that floats through your bloodstream, sticking to your artery walls. If this happens, it can cause clogged arteries, heart attack, blood clots and stroke. Get the picture?
HDL Cholesterol is GOOD!!! Very good. The higher the percentage of good HDL cholesterol, the healthier your cardiovascular system is. HDL stands for High Density Cholesterol. Think of it as the bloodstream scrubber. Being high density, or heavier, it courses through your veins, collecting the sticky LDL and helps flush it out of your system.
Some people, because of heredity, are prone to high cholesterol. Following a low cholesterol diet will help lower your cholesterol level but will not eliminate it since the body makes its own cholesterol. It is important to know your cholesterol numbers so your diet can be adjusted if it is too high. Regular, moderate daily exercise also helps to lower cholesterol levels.