Low-density lipids (LDL) are considered bad cholesterol because they attach to other molecules and can begin to block the blood vessels as they pass through the bloodstream. High-density lipoproteins (HDL) are known as good cholesterol. High levels of HDL help reduce the LDL in the blood by taking it to the liver to be broken down. LDL is found in foods that are high in animal fat (such as bacon and ham) and fried foods (french fries, fried chicken). HDL is in fish, seafood, and plant oils, including salmon, flaxseed oil, olive oil, and avocados. Aerobic exercise is a good way to increase HDL levels.
Unhealthy cholesterol levels are among the greatest risk factors for developing heart disease, stroke, and peripheral artery disease. In all three of these diseases, cholesterol causes plaque to build up inside arteries. When that occurs, blood flow to vital cells and organs is decreased.
Individuals have great power in controlling their cholesterol levels. Just follow these key steps:
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