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"Why is LDL cholesterol bad for me?"


I was told to cut down on eggs and pork. What is LDL so bad? I'm 48 and feel fine right now.


Just like most people who have high blood pressure do not feel any symptoms, generally speaking having high cholesterol doesn’t cause any symptoms either at first. So it’s great that you feel fine now, but you should use this as an opportunity to improve your diet and lifestyle before problems arise. In general there are two types of cholesterol the doctors are concerned about high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and low-density liopoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.

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HDL cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol helps carry other cholesterol particles from tissues and blood back to the liver, including helping to remove “bad” or LDL cholesterol from plaques in arteries. High concentrations of LDL cholesterol are associated with increased plaque formation in the arteries, and it is these plaques that can narrow arteries or rupture and cause heart attacks and strokes and the higher the levels the great the risk. You are right to cut out pork and eggs (though the whites are ok to eat), but you should also limit your consumption of red and processed meat and there are several other types of food you should try to avoid. In general saturated fat and cholesterol travel together; consequently, you should stay away from: cheese, ice cream, store-bought baked goods, and foods high in trans fats (not the same as cholesterol, but very bad for your heart health). A diet high in soluble fiber, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and lean meats like fish and poultry can help you lower your LDL levels and prevent dangerous clots from forming in the arteries to your heart or brain. Your primary care physician, cardiologist, or a nutritionist can best help you meet your goals. Good luck!

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