What is LDL-cholesterol: The 'Bad' Cholesterol

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When a person has too much LDL-cholesterol in the blood, it can slowly build up on the inner walls of the arteries, which supply blood to the heart and brain. Together with other substances it can form plaque, a thick, hard coating that can clog the arteries. A desirable LDL cholesterol is less than 100 mg/dl. However, with diabetes, depending on your age and cardiovascular risk, a lower LDL may be desired.

If you are about to begin medication for lowering LDL levels or are already taking a statin medication to lower LDL levels, your doctor may not be concerned about your LDL level reaching these target values. Recent recommendation focus on how much of a medication a person can tolerate, and the relative decrease in the LDL level rather than reaching an particular number. The person’s other risk factors and important.

To achieve healthful LDL and/or total cholesterol levels:

  • Eat less saturated fat and cholesterol
  • Eat more high fiber foods
  • Substitute unsaturated fats for saturated fats
  • Lose excess weight