Not all cholesterol is bad. In fact, your body requires both types of cholesterol: low-density lipoproteins (LDL), known as "bad" cholesterol, and high-density lipoproteins (HDL), known as "good" cholesterol. The risk for heart disease rises when LDL levels get too high or when HDL levels get too low.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), although HDL is still widely studied, some experts say having high HDL helps slow down arterial buildup by carrying the bad cholesterol to the liver for disposal.
HDL levels lower than 40 mg/dl for men and 50 mg/dl for women increase the risk of heart disease. The AHA recommends that both men and women aim for a HDL cholesterol level at 60 mg/dl or higher to reduce risk.
We've got the answers to help you get there.