nitoring your blood levels. The first kind is considered to be a good kind of cholesterol carrier. It is called High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. HDL helps to remove cholesterol from the blood, and therefore, preventing it from piling up in the arteries. The bad kind of cholesterol carrier is called Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. This is the kind that, when there is too much in the blood stream, can lead to build-up and blockage of the arteries.

Overall, a good level of cholesterol should be below 200. If your level is above 240, you are in a dangerous range and have a high risk for developing heart disease. However, you should try to maintain a high level of HDL, above 60, and a low level of LDL, below 130. There are few symptoms to high blood cholesterol, so it is important that you ask your physician to measure your levels in order to avoid a dangerous outcome.

Risk Factors for High Cholesterol

LDL cholesterol levels can be attributed to many different factors, some of which you can control and some of which you cannot.

Controllable Risk Factors include:

  • Diets high in saturated and hydrogenated fats (found in foods like red meat and fast foods)
  • Diets low in monounsaturated fats (found in olive oil and some types of fish)
  • Lack of exercise
  • Smoking
  • Above normal weight
  • Alcohol consumption

Uncontrollable Risk Factors include:

  • Sex- Men are more at risk at younger ages, however women and men even out when they get older. -Age- Older people are more at risk.
  • Genetics– High blood cholesterol sometimes runs in families and certain genes have been identified as promoting high levels of cholesterol.