Cholesterol and Blood Lipids
Blood contains a number of lipids (fatty substances) that have important functions in life. Excesses of one or more of the blood lipids (fats) can lead to increased risks of blood vessel and heart disease which in turn increases risk of heart attack and stroke. In order to have the best quality of life and lowest risk of serious illness we need to try to achieve normal
lipid levels. The lipids that we measure in blood are:

Name of Lipid Normal Level
Total Cholesterol below 5.0
HDL or High Density Cholesterol
(good cholesterol)
above 1.2
LDL or Low Density Cholesterol
(bad cholesterol)
below 2.5
Triglyceride below 2.0
Diabetes Care. 2004;27:1330-1334

Optimizing lipid abnormalities and cardiac risk factors can result in a 30-40% reduction in risk of death or major cardiovascular events such as strokes and heart attacks.

Causes of high blood cholesterol:

  • inherited defects in body chemistry
  • Diseases such as Diabetes
  • Drugs
  • Diet high in saturated fats

Treatment of high blood cholesterol

  • Do not overeat
  • Maintain normal body weight
  • Decrease fat intake to 30% of total calories
  • Eat the right fats (mono or poly unsaturated fats such as vegetable oils) and decrease the amount of saturated fat (lard, butter and animal fats)
  • Medications, lipid lowering drugs such as the "Statins" (Zocor, Pravachol, or "Fibrates" (Bezalip, Lipidil).