Cholesterol is a fatty lipid that is present in our blood. It comes from the liver or digested from the food you eat. It performs important functions in our body because it aids in hormone and tissue production. It also helps to protect our nerves. It's true we need these fatty lipids to keep healthy. But too much LDL may lead to heart disease and stroke. To help prevent these diseases, you need to achieve the proper cholesterol ratio.
Computing for your ratio can give helpful info about your risk of heart disease, though it's not being used as a basis on what treatments to use to lower your risk of heart disease. In order to calculate your ratio, you divide your total cholesterol number by your HDL number. For example, if your total cholesterol number is 200 and your HDL is 50, your total cholesterol ratio is 4: 1.
Is There an Ideal Ratio?
The ideal cholesterol ratio is about 3.5: 1. So AHA recommends that we should keep our cholesterol ratio at or below 5: 1. You can talk to your doctor about the best numbers for you.
How can I know what my ratio is?
If you know your cholesterol numbers or levels, you can work with your doctor to find your ideal cholesterol ratio. You can work together to identify the proper treatments for you. Like making simple lifestyle changes on what you eat, how often you need to exercise or even taking cholesterol supplements or medicines like statins, if necessary, so you can reach your ideal ratio.
How HDL (Good) and LDL (Bad) Cholesterols Affect the Body?
Lowering your LDL and increasing the level of your HDL, reduces your risk of having cardiovascular disease. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is the good cholesterol. HDL benefits lies in the fact that it carries LDL (Bad) Cholesterol back to the liver which cleanses cholesterol from the bloodstream.
Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) is the bad cholesterol. The higher LDL, the greater the risks of heart attack. The excess cholesterol can build up and stick to the walls of your arteries when level of LDL is high. This causes plaque; plaque formation can cause atherosclerosis which is the hardening of the arteries. When the plaque becomes wobbly, a blood clot can form, suddenly blocking an artery. That can cause a heart attack.
The Total Cholesterol
When your cholesterol is tested, you get a number for total cholesterol, HDL number, and the LDL number. The total cholesterol will be more than the sum of the LDL and HDL numbers. The acceptable HDL cholesterol level is at least 40mg / dL. Optimal HDL cholesterol are higher than 60. An optimal LDL cholesterol level is under 100 mg / dL. If it's high because of the HDL number, your health is not necessarily in danger. However, if it's high because of your LDL cholesterol number, it's important to talk with your doctor about your health risks.
High cholesterol level can be a risk factor for heart attack and stroke. Blockages that prevent insufficient blood flow in the coronary arteries can lead to a form of chest pain called angina. Angina is a common symptom of coronary artery disease. If you have high cholesterol, your doctor will want to know your LDL and HDL levels before deciding whether you need treatment and what sort of treatment you need.