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Good cholesterol refers to the concept of having levels of cholesterol in your blood that are low risk or to the good kind of cholesterol, known as HDL (high density lipoprotein).

Good cholesterol is what we all strive for, but do people really understand what good cholesterol is? There is no dietary bad cholesterol or good cholesterol…it’s all the same, coming from animal products.

HDL Cholesterol

Most refer to HDL cholesterol..actually it’s a lipoprotein…as the good cholesterol. In a blood test, we want high levels of HDL cholesterol. Curiously, it’s the addition of HDL along with LDL and VLDL that make up Total Cholesterol and if you have high levels of the good cholesterol, you may find that you have a Total Cholesterol that places you in a high risk category according to your doctor. Here comes the medication. How can this happen?

If you have a high HDL…which is good and a high normal or slightly elevated LDL…then added to your VLDL, you might have Total Cholesterol in excess of the recommended less than 200 mg/dl (milligrams per deciliter).

So, what’s even more important to understand are the ratios between all these numbers. It’s the ratios of Total Cholesterol to HDL (Total divided by HDL) and LDL to HDL (LDL divided by HDL) that are far more illustrative of cardiovascular risk.

  • Total Cholesterol to HDL (Total divided by HDL) should be less than 4.
  • LDL to HDL (LDL divided by HDL) should be 3.3 to 4.0 for the lowest risk.

These are the 2 most important markers when analyzing risk.

As an example:

  • If your Total Cholesterol is 247 and your HDL’s are 68, your ratio is: 3.6.
  • If your LDL is 151 and your HDL is 68, your ratio is 2.2.

Neither of these values put you in a high risk category, but because of the “Total Cholesterol” number, your doctor will mistakenly place you on a statin drug with dangerous side effects.

For more information about the risk of common cholesterol medications, please click “Cholesterol Medications”.

For more information about the 2 best diets to lower cholesterol, please click “Cholesterol Diet”.

For more information about cholesterol, please click “What is Cholesterol”.

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