Lipids are substances in the blood that are related to cholesterol. They are a kind of fat found in certain foods and made by the liver. Three types of lipids used in measuring your total cholesterol level are:
Low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, carries about 65% of the cholesterol in blood. Known as the “bad” cholesterol, LDL can build up in the walls of the arteries that feed the heart and brain. Along with other substances, it can form plaque—a thick, hard deposit that can clog those arteries. When this happens, the condition is known as atherosclerosis.
High-density lipoprotein, or HDL, carries about 30% of the cholesterol in blood. HDL is known as "good” cholesterol because it carries LDL away from the arteries and back to the liver, where it's passed from the body. A high HDL level helps prevent heart disease, while a low HDL level increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Triglycerides are the most common type of fat. Like cholesterol, they circulate in blood but are stored in the body for extra energy. Triglyceride levels increase significantly after eating. A high triglyceride level combined with a low HDL or high LDL can speed up the process of plaque formation in the arteries.
Screening for High Cholesterol
- Complete Lipid Panel Screening
- A simple finger-stick screening, this procedure measures three different kinds of lipids in your blood (HDL, LDL and triglycerides) as well as total cholesterol. Your lipid levels are important in determining your heart health. Watch this cholesterol screening video to learn more: