ASK A DOC: What is the difference between "good" and "bad" cholesterol?
September 15, 2021
Matthew Weiss, MD
Lipidologist & Non-Invasive Cardiologist
Cholesterol travels through your bloodstream on “lipoproteins.” Your cholesterol levels reflect two different lipoprotein numbers. The first, LDL (low-density lipoprotein), is what is commonly referred to as the bad type and makes up most of your body’s cholesterol. High LDL levels can lead to plaque buildup in your arteries and put you at increased risk for heart disease and stroke. The second type, HDL (high-density lipoprotein), is known as the “good” cholesterol. These lipoproteins transport cholesterol from your arteries back to your liver, where it is then flushed out of your body. Unhealthy cholesterol levels – while unfortunately common – are treatable through simple healthy lifestyle changes or prescribed cholesterol-reducing medication. Talk with your primary care provider about your cholesterol and the best ways for you to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.