You’ve probably heard a lot of bad talk about cholesterol and how high levels of it can lead to serious health problems. But as it turns out, there is more than one type of cholesterol – three, in fact. We’re just going to focus on the main two, though.
First up is the ‘bad’ cholesterol that you’ve heard so much about, low-density lipoprotein, or LDL for short. High levels of LDL can be very harmful to heart health – it narrows down your arteries and puts you at risk of heart attacks. This is why cholesterol has such a bad name – because of LDL. But this bad press isn’t entirely fair because the second kind of cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), is something of a superhero.
Think of it like this – LDL is the big evil that sits in your arteries and narrows the pathways, and then HDL comes and kicks LDL out. That’s actually what happens in your body – promise! HDL removes excess reserves of cholesterol from your arteries, keeping your heart safe and healthy. That’s why it’s known as the ‘good’ kind of cholesterol.
To fight off bad cholesterol, you should do two things: avoid foods like trans fats and refined sugar, both of which lower HDL and increase LDL, and consume fruits and vegetables that are high in HDL, like eggplants, avocados, and raspberries. Cholesterol isn’t all bad, and it’s always wise to increase your ‘good’ cholesterol levels!