7 Foods That Lower Your LDL Cholesterol
LDL cholesterol by Friedewald approach is mg/dL. LDL cholesterol by Iranian method is mg/dL. LDL medical implications. Cholesterol is a steroid which is a chemical substance classified as lipid or fat. It is a component of cell membranes and is a precursor to various hormones and to vitamin D. The calculated LDL cholesterol level associated with the fewest number of health risks is milligrams per deciliter or less. A result ranging from to milligrams per deciliter is considered high, while a total of milligrams per deciliter or more puts you at a significantly high risk of heart disease. Importance of Lowering LDL.
Your body naturally produces all the cholesterol that it needs. This substance is essential to producing vitamin D, hormones and substances that aid digestion. However, high levels of one type, called LDL cholesterol, can lead to cardiovascular health problems. In order to travel throughout your body, cholesterol is bound to proteins and triglycerides in your liver to form lipoproteins.
These compounds are generally divided into two forms: high-density and low-density lipoproteins. The low-density variety is commonly referred to as "bad" cholesterol because it can build up in artery walls, blocking or narrowing them with a substance called plaque.
In contrast, HDL cholesterol is also known as "good" cholesterol because it helps to clear arteries by picking up deposited cholesterol as it passes through your bloodstream. To assess your cholesterol levels, doctors can order either a lipid profile or total cholesterol test. A lipid profile provides accurate results for your HDL, LDL and total cholesterol, as well as blood concentrations of triglycerides. Total cholesterol tests provide results for your levels of triglycerides, HDL and total cholesterol, but not for LDL cholesterol.
Because the total cholesterol test is less costly and time-consuming, it is the more common of the two. Using the results of a total cholesterol test, doctors can calculate your LDL cholesterol levels.
This is typically performed with the Friedewald equation, which subtracts your HDL cholesterol and one-fifth of your measured triglycerides from your total cholesterol. The result, provided in milligrams per deciliter of blood, is an estimate of your LDL cholesterol level.
High LDL cholesterol levels are linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attack and death. Ideal LDL levels vary depending on the presence or absence of cardiovascular risk factors, such as smoking, diabetes, family history, high blood pressure and low HDL levels. A number of lifestyle changes can improve your cholesterol, either by lowering LDL or by raising your "good" HDL cholesterol.
Regular exercise is one of the most important. It doesn't need to be strenuous: walking for 30 minutes each day, or consciously spending more time on your feet than in a chair, can help. Eliminating risk factors such as smoking, and reducing your alcohol consumption to no more than a drink or two a day, will also help. Most importantly, your diet makes a difference. Add foods to your diet that include soluble fiber, such as oats, barley, fruit and legumes; and get most of your fats each day from healthy sources such as nuts, fish and avocados.
If your health situation is serious, there's a formal program called Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes which combines diet, exercise and sometimes medications to help you bring your LDL cholesterol under control quickly. Matthew Lee has been writing professionally since Past and current research projects have explored the effect of a diagnosis of breast cancer on lifestyle and mental health and adherence to lifestyle-based i.
He holds a Master of Arts in psychology how to make a small flying airplane Carleton University and is working toward his doctorate in health psychology.
Healthy Eating Diet Cholesterol. By Matthew Lee Updated December 12, Related Articles. What Decreases LDL?
Target LDL Numbers
For instance, for a male with total cholesterol of mg/dl, HDL of 65 mg/dl, LDL of mg/dl and triglycerides of mg/dl, the interpretation is: ¦ A Total Cholesterol level of mg/dl represents a borderline risk value. ¦ A HDL level of 65 mg/dl represents an optimal value. Dec 11, · For adults, LDL cholesterol levels should be less than mg/dL. Levels of to mg/dL do not indicate risks for healthy people but may be a warning for those with heart disease or heart disease risk factors. A reading of to mg/dL is borderline high and to mg/dL is high. Your total blood cholesterol is calculated by adding your HDL and LDL cholesterol levels, plus 20% of your triglyceride level. “Normal ranges” are less important than your overall cardiovascular risk. Like HDL and LDL cholesterol levels, your total blood cholesterol level should be considered in context with your other known risk factors.
To determine your risk of developing heart disease ; to monitor effectiveness of lipid -lowering therapy. Screening : as part of a health exam with a lipid panel ; every four to six years in adults with no risk factors for heart disease; youth should be tested at least once between the ages of 9 and 11 and once again between the ages of 17 and Laboratory tests for LDL-C typically require a 9 to hour fast, but your healthcare practitioner may decide that you may be tested without fasting.
In particular, youths ages 2 to 24 without risk factors may have testing done without fasting. Follow any instructions you are given and tell the person drawing your blood whether or not you have fasted. Low-density lipoprotein is a type of lipoprotein that consists of cholesterol LDL cholesterol, LDL-C and similar substances with a small amount of protein. Sometimes, LDL-C is measured directly. Monitoring and maintaining appropriate levels of cholesterol and other lipids is important for staying healthy.
A diet high in saturated fats and trans unsaturated fats trans fats , or an inherited predisposition can result in a high level of cholesterol in the blood. The extra cholesterol may be deposited in plaques on the walls of blood vessels.
Plaques can narrow or eventually block the opening of blood vessels, leading to hardening of the arteries atherosclerosis and increased risk of numerous health problems, including heart disease and stroke.
High LDL-C is considered to be undesirable and LDL-C is often called "bad" cholesterol because it is associated with cholesterol plaques, atheroslcerosis, and heart disease.
This is in contrast to high-density lipoproteins HDL that tend to transport cholesterol from the arteries to the liver. High HDL-C is thought to protect against heart disease and so it is often called "good" cholesterol. The test for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol LDL-C is used as part of a lipid panel to estimate your likelihood of developing heart disease.
If you have borderline, intermediate or high risk, results of the LDL-C test and other components of the lipid panel are considered along with other known risk factors of heart disease to develop a plan of treatment and follow-up.
Treatment options may include lifestyle changes such as diet or exercise programs or lipid-lowering drugs such as statins. LDL-C test may be also used to monitor whether treatment has been effective in lowering cholesterol levels. LDL-C is often not measured directly but is instead calculated from other components of the lipid panel, including total cholesterol , HDL cholesterol HDL-C , and triglycerides see below for the most commonly-used formula.
Many health organizations recommend that all adults with no other risk factors for heart disease be tested with an LDL-C test as part of a fasting lipid panel every four to six years.
If you have risk factors for heart disease see below or if previous testing showed that you had undesirable results, more frequent testing with a fasting lipid panel is recommended. Children, teens and young adults ages 2 to 24 years old with no risk factors should have a lipid panel done once between the ages of 9 and 11 and again between the ages of 17 and 21, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics AAP. Youths with an increased risk of heart disease as adults should have earlier and more frequent screening with lipid panels.
Some of the risk factors are similar to those in adults and include a family history of heart disease or health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or being overweight. High-risk children should be tested between 2 and 8 years old with a fasting lipid panel, according to the AAP. Children younger than 2 years old are too young to be tested.
LDL-C levels, either alone or as part of lipid panels, may also be ordered at regular intervals to evaluate the success of lipid-lowering lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise or to determine the effectiveness of drug therapy such as statins. In general, healthy lipid levels help to maintain a healthy heart and lower the risk of heart attack or stroke. Your healthcare practitioner will take into consideration the results of the LDL-C and the other components of a lipid panel as well as other risk factors to help determine your overall risk of heart disease , whether treatment is necessary and, if so, which treatment will best help to lower your risk.
Health organizations have different recommendations for treatment based on your predicted cardiovascular disease CVD risk. Many factors are considered in the calculation, including total cholesterol , LDL-C, HDL-C , age, gender, race, blood pressure, diabetes , and smoking.
The U. Preventive Services Task Force USPSTF makes recommendations on the use of statins for treatment in adults ages 40 to 75 with no history of heart disease, based on risk factors i. According to the USPSTF, there is not currently enough evidence to evaluate the utility of screening adults ages 21 to 39 for unhealthy lipid levels, or to assess the benefits and risks of statin use in adults 76 years or older with no history of CVD.
Some say that the current risk calculator can overestimate risk. Low levels of LDL cholesterol are not generally a concern and are not monitored. They may be seen in people with an inherited lipoprotein deficiency and in people with hyperthyroidism , infection , inflammation , or cirrhosis. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is an important part of heart health and in treating high LDL-C. This may mean you will need to change your lifestyle, specifically by adopting a diet low in saturated fat and trans unsaturated fats trans fats , avoiding smoking, controlling high blood pressure and diabetes , achieving and maintaining desirable body weight, and getting regular exercise.
You may be referred to a dietician for advice in making dietary changes. Your healthcare practitioner will talk to you about risks and benefits of lipid-lowering therapy, based on your history, health risks, the results of your lipid panel , and possibly your calculated risk for CVD. Statins are generally recommended as a first choice for lowering LDL-C.
You may be prescribed one of these. Your LDL-C will be checked at regular intervals to make sure that the drug is working. If your LDL-C is above target levels, your healthcare practitioner may increase the amount of drug, change drugs, or possibly add a second drug.
There are tests available to use at home to measure total cholesterol. You prick your finger and put blood on a piece of paper that will change color based on your cholesterol level or use your blood and a small device to do the same thing. There are also kits available that have you collect a blood sample at home and then mail it to a reference laboratory , which will perform a lipid panel and send the results back to you.
The formula most often used by laboratories is called the Freidewald formula, though some research suggests it's not the most accurate formula and some recommend using other formulas instead. The Freidewald formula uses the results from the components of the lipid panel that are measured directly.
In the U. The direct low-density lipoprotein cholesterol test direct LDL-C is an actual measurement of the amount of LDL cholesterol in your blood. Usually, your LDL-C level is calculated using the measured values of the components of a standard lipid panel. A direct LDL-C may be ordered by your healthcare practitioner when prior test results have indicated high triglycerides. Similarly, individuals with some chronic conditions such as diabetes may have increased risk even though their LDL-C is at a healthy level.
LDL-C should be measured when you are not ill. LDL-C is temporarily low during acute illness, immediately following a heart attack , or during stress like from surgery or an accident. Wait at least six weeks after any illness to have LDL-C measured.
Certain types of prescription drugs may raise or lower LDL-C levels. Inform your healthcare provider of any drugs or supplements that you are taking before testing. In women, LDL-C usually rises during pregnancy. Women should wait at least six weeks after having a baby to have LDL-C measured. You may be able to find your test results on your laboratory's website or patient portal. However, you are currently at Lab Tests Online.
You may have been directed here by your lab's website in order to provide you with background information about the test s you had performed. You will need to return to your lab's website or portal, or contact your healthcare practitioner in order to obtain your test results.
Lab Tests Online is an award-winning patient education website offering information on laboratory tests. The content on the site, which has been reviewed by laboratory scientists and other medical professionals, provides general explanations of what results might mean for each test listed on the site, such as what a high or low value might suggest to your healthcare practitioner about your health or medical condition.
The reference ranges for your tests can be found on your laboratory report. They are typically found to the right of your results. If you do not have your lab report, consult your healthcare provider or the laboratory that performed the test s to obtain the reference range. Laboratory test results are not meaningful by themselves. Their meaning comes from comparison to reference ranges.
Reference ranges are the values expected for a healthy person. They are sometimes called "normal" values. By comparing your test results with reference values, you and your healthcare provider can see if any of your test results fall outside the range of expected values.
Values that are outside expected ranges can provide clues to help identify possible conditions or diseases. While accuracy of laboratory testing has significantly evolved over the past few decades, some lab-to-lab variability can occur due to differences in testing equipment, chemical reagents, and techniques.
This is a reason why so few reference ranges are provided on this site. It is important to know that you must use the range supplied by the laboratory that performed your test to evaluate whether your results are "within normal limits. It provides a common language to unambiguously identify things you can measure or observe that enables the exchange and aggregation of clinical results for care delivery, outcomes management, and research.
Learn More. Please note when you click on the hyperlinked code, you are leaving Lab Tests Online and accessing Loinc. European Heart Journal. Accessed September Grundy, Scott M. National Library of Medicine. Fernandez-Friera, L. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Singh N. International Journal of Contemporary Medical Research. Krishnaveni, P.
Thomas, Clayton L. Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary. American Heart Association. What are healthy levels of cholesterol? Bethesda, Md. Numbers That Count for a Healthy Heart. Pagana K, Pagana T.