CareMore Cal MediConnect

Understanding Cholesterol

HDL-LDL

What causes heart disease?

One of the main causes of heart disease is plaque build-up in your arteries. The arteries are the tubes that carry blood to your heart. As plaque builds up in the arteries, it blocks important nutrients and oxygen from reaching your heart. This plaque is made up mostly of cholesterol.

What is cholesterol?

It is a waxy, fat-like substance that your body needs. Your liver makes cholesterol for your body. You can also get cholesterol by eating foods that contain fat. Cholesterol is found in animal products such as:

  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Eggs Butter
  • Cheese
  • Whole Milk

There a two types of cholesterol

  • HDL is known as the “Good” cholesterol. This type carries all the extra cholesterol in your body back to the liver to be dispose or recycled.
  • LDL is known as the “Bad” cholesterol. This type takes the cholesterol from the liver to the rest of the body. As it travels through your body it can accumulate in your body.

What causes high cholesterol?

  • Family History
  • Age
  • Being overweight
  • Being inactive
  • Poor diet

What can I do to manage my cholesterol levels?

It is important for people of all ages, with and without heart disease to keep low cholesterol levels. Here are tips to keeping your numbers within the recommended range.

  • Eat a heart-healthy diet
  • Lose weight if you are overweight
  • Get regular exercise
  • Don't smoke
  • If prescribed by your doctor, take medicine

Online tools and resources

Test Your Cholesterol IQ – A quick quiz by the American Heart Association

Not a CareMore Cal MediConnect member yet? Enrollment is easy and can be done year round. Visit our Do You Qualify or How to Enroll pages for instructions.