You might be asking, “What is good cholesterol? Is there such as thing as good cholesterol?”
This time, the news about cholesterol isn’t negative like usual. This time, we’re looking at cholesterol in a very positive light because of its better half, HDL or high-density lipoproteins.
What does a lipoprotein have to do with cholesterol?
Lipoproteins are not the same thing as cholesterol. Rather, they are the little tools that transport cholesterol through the bloodstream.
Think of lipoproteins as the cars cholesterol drives to get around. Now, consider this:
You would agree that a BMW 3 Series is a better car than a 1980 Pinto, right? The BMW will get you where you need to go quickly and efficiently with little risk of breakdowns or unexpected damage.
Think of good cholesterol (HDL) as the kind of cholesterol that drives the BMW, and bad cholesterol (LDL) as the kind that drives the Pinto.
The high-density lipoproteins can transport cholesterol quickly and efficiently, with more capability to relocate cholesterol where it needs to go.
HDL transports extra cholesterol to the liver where it can be broken down. Bad cholesterol, since it doesn’t drive as good of a car, tends to build up in arteries, as fat, overwhelm the liver, and become visceral fat around the internal organs.
Good cholesterol is important for maintaining the balance of cholesterol in the body, and ensuring that bad cholesterol doesn’t take over completely.
Because of good cholesterol’s responsibility, it isn’t enough to just eliminate or cut back on cholesterol in your diet. You need to make sure you consume an adequate amount of good cholesterol as well!
-Include oils such as safflower, olive, and coconut oil in your diet
-Eat fatty fish, such as salmon, because it contains Omega-3’s
-Get your fill of avocados, almonds, and walnuts!
How Much Cholesterol Is Healthy?
If you’ve had a recent cholesterol test (lipid profile) done, your doctor will have explained to you what healthy cholesterol levels look like. However, if you want a better idea of what those levels looks like, know that:
• Men’s and women’s HDL cholesterol should be at least 60 mg (of cholesterol) per deciliter of blood.
If your good cholesterol levels fall below these levels, your body doesn’t have the tools it needs to rid itself of extra cholesterol in the blood.
We know, we know, it’s kind of confusing. You thought that it was a good thing to just have low cholesterol all around, and now we’re telling you “well, it depends”.
Don’t freak out just yet! We have more articles on cholesterol and how you can keep your levels healthy, why it’s important, and more detail on what it is. For more information, see the following posts: