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Day 7: Know Your Numbers

Cholesterol is made up of different kinds of fats, or “lipids.” If your total cholesterol is high, knowing your lipid profile is important.

The higher your blood cholesterol, the greater your risk for heart attack or stroke. That’s why you need to know your cholesterol level. The two most important lipids are HDL and LDL.
  • HDL is called the “good” cholesterol. It moves out of the bloodstream and does not block your blood vessels. HDL levels are affected by how much you exercise and what you eat. For most people, HDL should be 40 or higher if you’re a man and 50 or higher if you’re a woman.

  • LDL is called the “bad” cholesterol. This is because it can stick to your artery walls and block blood flow. LDL levels are most affected by what you eat. For most people, LDL should be lower than 100.

  • Triglyceride is a type of fat the body uses to store energy. Too much triglyceride can increase your risk for heart disease. Triglyceride levels should be under 150.

Your healthcare provider can help you get started on a plan to control your cholesterol.

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Marc Meissner, M.D.
DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital

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