Know Good Fat and Bad Fat

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Know Good Fat and Bad Fat

Know Good Fat and Bad Fat

Know Good Fat and Bad Fat

In our blood there are different types of fats, they differ in structure and function. Some of these facts are good for our body and some are bad if they are at higher than normal concentration.

What Is LDL?

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is the most common type of cholesterol. If the concentration of LDL is high in the blood, then it starts accumulating in the wall of blood vessels and may cause narrowing of the blood vessel. That’s why a raised level of LDL is not good and it's called bad cholesterol.

If this affects the artery to the heart (coronary artery) then it may cause a heart attack and if it affects the blood supply to the brain then it will cause a stroke.

HDL Cholesterol

High-density cholesterol (HDL) carries LDL molecule to the liver where the LDL molecule is broken down. Thus HDL is good cholesterol.

Lipoprotein

These are fat which is carried in the blood with a protein molecule.

Triglycerides

A type of fat that stores energy (TG). A high level of TG also increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Diagnosis

A fasting blood level can measure all types of cholesterol in the blood. In a healthy individual blood tests for lipid can be done once in 3-4 years. If you have heart diseases or diabetes the more frequent blood testing is necessary.

Risks of High LDL Cholesterol

High LDL and triglycerides level increases risk of -

  • Coronary artery disease – heart attack, angina.
  • stroke

Doctors use a calculator to estimate your odds of those problems in the next 10 years. The calculator considers several things, including: When calculating risk of heart attack and stroke there are other factors which are taken into consideration including -

  • Age
  • Your cholesterol level
  • Smoking
  • Your blood pressure
  • Whether you smoke
  • Whether you take blood pressure medicine
  • Family history of heart disease

How to Lower High LDL Cholesterol

To decrease the LDL or TG level in your blood there has to be a change in diet, lifestyle and if necessary, medicines should be added.

  • A healthy diet. Avoid food high in saturated fat, cholesterol, or simple carbs such as sugar. Eat more fiber and plant sterols such as margarine or nuts.
  • Regular exercise mainly aerobic exercise.
  • Weight loss. Losing even 5 to 10 pounds can improve your cholesterol levels.
  • Stop smoking
  • Medication. Some drugs, like statins, help keep your body from making cholesterol. Another ezetimibe lowers the amount of cholesterol your body absorbs from the diet.

Dr. Rakesh Rai. MS, FRCS, MD, CCT, ASTS Fellow (USA).

Consultant HPB & Transplant Surgeon.