ok – so you want to understand what your cholesterol numbers mean. Makes sense! They’re important! Especially if you worry about your health and don’t exactly know what cholesterol means and why it matters.
Everyone over the age of 20 should get their cholesterol measured at least once every five years. All it takes is a blood test called a “lipid profile” from your doctor. Along with blood pressure, it’s one of the most important things to check to determine heart health.
If you’re a man over 35 or a woman over 45, you should get your cholesterol levels checked more often.
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So what goes into a lipid profile? I’m glad you asked!
Your lipid profile will show you:
1. Your total cholesterol
2. Your triglyceride levels (these are fats in your bloodstream that come from the foods you eat. Any extra calories, sugar, and alcohol get turned into triglycerides and carried through the body to fat cells.
3. Your hdl cholesterol levels (high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, this is the good kind of cholesterol)
4. Your ldl cholesterol levels (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, this is the bad kind of cholesterol)
When your doctor gets the results of your lipid profile back, it’ll be in the form of numbers. These numbers tell you everything you need to know about your cholesterol levels – but not everything you need to know about your overall health (1).
That’s because cholesterol levels are just one part of the larger picture of how healthy your heart is. Based on your cholesterol levels and other factors, you and your