What terms or thoughts come to mind when you here the word “cholesterol?” Heart disease, stroke, clogged arteries, etc.? These are all things typically associated with cholesterol. What about triglycerides, LDL and HDL, or trans fats? These terms are not usually thought of when cholesterol is brought up, but they should be. But what are these mystery terms?
Trans Fats, I am sure most of you have heard of and are probably aware that they are bad for you. But, where do they come from and why are they so bad? Quite simply, they come mostly from fried foods or any foods that have partially hydrogenated oils: Chips, french fries, doughnuts, cookies, etc. This type of fat has a negative effect on your body by increasing the amount of triglycerides. Both trans fats and triglycerides lower your HDL cholesterol and raise your LDL. HDL is known as the “good” cholesterol in your body while LDL is the “bad.” Your body needs cholesterol in order to live, but at the same time, the two forms (LDL and HDL) need to have a good balance.
LDL cholesterol is the “bad” form of cholesterol. It comes from animal products (meat), trans fat, and triglycerides. The way to calculate your LDL levels is to take your triglyceride number and divide it by five.