Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance. Your liver produces cholesterol for your body.
Your body also absorbs cholesterol from some foods you eat like meat, shellfish, eggs and dairy products.Your body needs some cholesterol to form cell membranes, some hormones and Vitamin D.
However, too much cholesterol can be harmful as it can increase the risk of developing heart disease and stroke.It leads to a build-up of fatty deposits (plaque) in the blood vessels which subsequently block the flow of blood to the heart, brain, and other important organs.
An optimal total cholesterol reading is less than 5.5 mmol/L.
Also known as "bad" cholesterol, low density lipoprotein cholesterol, (LDL cholesterol) is an indicator of risk for heart attack or stroke. LDL is a carrier of cholesterol in the blood.
High levels of LDL cholesterol combine with other substances to form the waxy plaque deposits that can eventually clog arteries leading to the heart and brain, depriving them of oxygen.This could then lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Therefore, an optimal reading of LDL cholesterol is less than 2.0mmol/L.
Also known as "good" cholesterol, high density lipoprotein cholesterol, (HDL cholesterol) is an indicator of risk for heart attack or stroke
HDL carries cholesterol out of the blood stream to the liver preventing cholesterol and plaque build-up in the arteries.
An HDL measure of 1.0mmol/L and above is considered healthy.
Triglycerides are fats found in your blood and in fat tissue. They are a major source of energy and the most common type of fat in your body.When you eat, any extra calories you consume that are not immediately used for energy are turned into triglycerides and stored in fat cells to be used later. In normal amounts (below 2.0mmol/L) triglycerides are important for good health.However, high levels of triglycerides in the bloodstream (2.0mmol/L and above) have been linked to atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of arteries), high blood pressure, high blood sugar, increased waist circumference, low HDL ("good") cholesterol and, by extension, a higher risk of heart disease and stroke. Consuming fewer calories may help lower your triglyceride levels. You can limit the intake of fats, sugars and alcohol. You can also increase your activity level. If you are overweight, losing weight may be the best way to lower triglycerides.