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LDL Cholesterol Levels

Typically, your LDL cholesterol levels should be between 100-129 mg/dL (2.5-3.3 mmol/L). Anything above these levels is considered high. If you're genetically predisposed to heart disease, you will want to aim for lower cholesterol levels (between 70-100 mg/dL).

LDL stands for low-density lipoproteins. LDL has more fat and less protein compared to high-density lipoproteins (HDL) particle.

LDL: The "Bad" Cholesterol

LDL cholesterol transports cholesterol to areas in the body as needed, which in itself isn't bad, except when there's too much LDL. When you have too much LDL in the bloodstream, the LDL cholesterol can leave fatty deposits (plaque) that build up in the arteries. On top of that, LDL can cause the artery walls to become narrow and unstable. The blockages caused by LDL restricts the supply of blood to the heart, brain, kidneys, extremities, and genitals.

The negative effects of high LDL cholesterol includes:
  • blocked arteries;
  • chest pain (angina);
  • heart attacks;
  • irregular heart rhythm;
  • high blood pressure; 
  • stroke; and
  • mental impairment.
When getting your cholesterol levels tested, your LDL cholesterol level is what matters most, NOT your total cholesterol levels. You can have high total cholesterol, but still be at low risk for heart disease, and vice versa. You also don't want to have really low HDL levels as high HDL levels is good because HDL particles clear your arteries as opposed to blocking them.

LDL Cholesterol

If you have high LDL levels there are still somethings you can do to improve your condition, such as eliminating fat and cholesterol from your diet.

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