Cholesterol: the good and the ugly



I thought it would be fun to talk about some main stream health problems that come about by poor eating and break them down in simple terms. We have heard a lot about HDL and LDL Cholesterol but I think a lot of us don't know exactly what they mean and what they do in the body.


Cholesterol molecules move through the blood stream attached to protein. These groupings are called lipoproteins and are broken into two groups: high-density and low-density. 


HDL (high-density lipoprotein)


HDL is the "good" kind of cholesterol and has more protein than fat. It can flush cholesterol out of your body. Did you know that it may protect against heart disease? This information is great but where do you find the "good" cholesterol?


(taken from


1. Oatmeal, oat bran and high-fiber foods.


2. Fish and Omega-3 fatty acids.


3. Walnuts, almonds and other nuts.


4. Olive oil


5. Foods with added plant sterols or stanols



LDL (low-density lipoprotein)


LDL is the "bad" type of cholesterol. It is more fat than protein and causes the arteries to harden and in most cases can lead to heart disease. 


  Why do your arteries harden? The LDL can stick to the artery walls and build up a layer that can lessen the blood flow. Also putting you at risk for a stroke.









The "bad" cholesterol is everywhere in todays culture. Here are a list of some of the foods out there that are high in LDL:


1. Fried foods


2. Butter


3. Commercially baked foods like muffins. I am assuming they use margarine and crisco.


4. Fatty meats


5. Whole milk



What do I do?


1. I trade out fried foods for baked and don't eat a lot of chips.


2. I add in meats like salmon and chicken instead of read meat. It doesn't have to be all the time, but I focus on eating higher amounts of low fat meats and every once in a while have a burger.


3. I say no to commercially baked goods most of the time. I say this because every once in a while our family goes out for doughnuts on the weekend. It is rare, though, to find baked goods or chips in my house.


4. I cook with olive oil and limit butter. If you are a butter user, you can also do 1/2 butter and 1/2 olive oil.


5. I eat whole grains that are high in fiber and HDL.



There are a lot of ideas out there and I have just named a few.



What do you do to keep your cholesterol low? 






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