Many people see cholesterol as a big villain to our health but what they don’t know is that cholesterol plays an important role in our body. Cholesterol is needed to produce important hormones, vitamin D as well as bile acid to aid digestion.
What is LDL & HDL?
Cholesterol travels around in the blood using a transporter called lipoprotein. There are two kinds of lipoprotein that carry cholesterol around: Low-density Lipoprotein (LDL) and High-density Lipoprotein (HDL). If we want to know our cholesterol level, LDL and HDL will be tested from our blood test. Having high levels or low levels of a certain type could increase your risk of developing heart disease.
LDL cholesterol is commonly referred to as the “not-so-good” cholesterol, as it is known to increase your chance to develop blocked arteries and risk of heart disease. While HDL cholesterol often known as the “good” cholesterol, as HDL carries cholesterol from different parts of your body back to your liver where it will get removed from the body. A healthy diet may help you balance the “good” and “not-so-good” cholesterols.
What about Triglycerides?
As part of your blood test result, triglycerides may also get tested to determine your risk of heart disease. Triglycerides are a measure of the amount of fat moving around in your blood, which is used as fuel for the body. However, having high levels of circulating triglycerides in the blood may also increase your risk of developing heart disease.
How a dietitian could help you
- Learn about the different type of fats and other dietary factors that could affect your cholesterol
- Individualised dietary advice to optimise cholesterol levels
- Achievable and sustainable weight reduction
- Develop healthy eating behaviour and habits
- How to read and understand food labels