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The Difference Between “Good” & “Bad” Cholesterol

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The Difference Between “Good” & “Bad” Cholesterol


Although many people know that having high cholesterol can be bad for your health, many also don't know the difference between HDL and LDL. In recognition of National Cholesterol Education Month, the health experts at Ridgecrest Regional Hospital are here to outline each type of cholesterol and how they can affect your health.

Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL)

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) makes up most of the cholesterol found in the bloodstream. Often referred to as the "bad" type of cholesterol, LDL contributes to high cholesterol, leaving people at an increased risk for health issues like heart disease and heart disease attack, and stroke.

This type of cholesterol is taken into the body through the foods that you eat, making it essential that you pay attention to the quality of your diet. When it comes to supporting healthy cholesterol levels, try to limit your consumption of the following types of food:

  • Fried foods
  • Fatty cuts of red meat
  • Bacon
  • Sausage
  • Fast food
  • Lard and shortening
  • Butter
  • Pre-packaged foods

High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL)

High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is often referred to as the “good” cholesterol as it helps to regulate your total cholesterol levels. HDL absorbs cholesterol and carries it to the liver, where it can then be eliminated from the body.

Although the human body can produce its own HDL, you can also get additional HDL through the foods that you eat. To support healthy cholesterol levels, try adding some of the following foods to your diet:

  • Fatty fish
  • Fruits with their skin on
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Whole grains
  • Olive oil
  • Avocado oil

If you’re unsure about your current cholesterol levels or you have questions about how you can further improve your diet, reach out to your primary care doctor.

Cardiac Support in Ridgecrest, California

At Ridgecrest Regional Hospital, our team of board-certified physicians and our highly skilled cardiac support team provide the highest level of medical care to Ridgecrest and surrounding areas.

To learn more about our cardiovascular disease services or schedule an appointment, visit our website or give us a call at (760) 446-3551 (Mon-Fri 8 AM -4:30PM).