Your total cholesterol level includes LDL-cholesterol and HDL-cholesterol – and the balance between the levels of these two types of cholesterol is also important.
LDL (low density lipoprotein) is the ‘bad’ type of cholesterol. If there is too much LDL cholesterol in the blood, it can slowly build in the arteries, making them narrower which increases the risk of coronary heart diseases. You should aim to lower your levels of LDL by eating healthily and introducing Benecol® foods, with Plant Stanol Ester into your diet.
HDL (high density lipoprotein) is the ‘good’ type of cholesterol. It helps to remove excess cholesterol from the bloodstream and returns it to the liver where it is broken down and passed out of the body.
A quick tip to remember the difference is that your LDL should be Lower and your HDL should be Higher.
What is ‘high’ cholesterol?
Your cholesterol level is measured in units called millimoles per litre of blood, often shortened to mmol/L. The Government recommends that healthy adults should have a total cholesterol level below 5 mmol/L.
The risk of heart disease is particularly high if you have a high level of LDL cholesterol and a low level of HDL cholesterol.
It is also important to remember that other factors such as smoking, high blood pressure, and other fats are also risk factors for the development of coronary heart disease.