83.6 F
Cruz Bay
Sunday, July 21, 2024
HomeNewsArchivesTHE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY OF CHOLESTEROL

THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY OF CHOLESTEROL

Do you always hear about "good" cholesterol and "bad" cholesterol and find it
confusing?
Cholesterol is like other fats in that it will not mix with water substances like blood. Therefore, in order for cholesterol to travel through the bloodstream it must be surrounded by protein packages.
This combination is called a lipoprotein. Blood cholesterol is found in all the major lipoproteins including the low density lipoproteins (LDLs) and the high density lipoproteins (HDLs).
The HDLs are called the "good" cholesterol because these are helpful in carrying excess cholesterol out of the body. The "bad" cholesterol, the LDLs, carry most of the cholesterol in the blood and is the main source of damaging buildup and blockage in the arteries.
Thus, the more LDL-cholesterol you have in your blood, the greater your risk for
coronary heart disease and stroke. The desirable lab values you are looking for would be < l00mg/dl for LDLs and for your HDLs >35mg/dl.
If that's the bad news, the good news is you can actually reverse this cholesterol buildup in your arteries by eating healthy foods and by staying physically active. Saturated fats, a type of fat found mostly in foods that come from animals; and cholesterol, which comes ONLY from animal products, are the two reasons that raises your LDL level more than anything else in the diet.
By decreasing your consumption of animal products you will be decreasing your "bad" cholesterol. Make physical activity a part of your daily lifestyle because regular activity increases your HDLs.
Remember this, good cholesterol flushes out and lowers your total cholesterol. By adopting heart-healthy life habits like reducing saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet and being physically active can protect your heart and prevent coronary heart disease and/or stroke — the top killer diseases for Virgin Islanders.
For more information contact me, Nurse Witmer at Charles Hardwood Hospital at 773-1311 ext.3166.
Here's wishing you HEALTH and HAPPINESS!
Marie Elise Witmer, RN, BSN, CLC, is a public health nurse for the Chronic Disease Prevention Program at Charles Harwood. The CDPP is a territorial program targeting the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.

Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.

UPCOMING EVENTS