What is Bad Cholesterol?

Bad Cholesterol is known scientifically as Low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Why the negative connotation on LDL? Low-density lipoprotein is a type of lipoprotein that brings triglycerides and cholesterol from the liver onto the peripheral tissues. LDL also works in regulating the synthesis of cholesterol at these locations. However, because high LDL cholesterol levels usually signal medical conditions such as heart disease, LDL is sometimes called bad cholesterol.

Why bad cholesterol is so-called

Low Density Lipoprotein cholesterol brings most of the bulk of the human body's cholesterol via the blood into the liver organ and tissues, which in turn use it to create cell membranes. In the event that too much amount of LDL or bad cholesterol circulates into the blood, the cholesterol can slowly but steadily build up and cling into the inner walls and membranes of the arteries that feed the brain and heart.

In combination with other substances, it later forms a thick plaque, a form of hardened deposit that narrows the arteries, thereby making them less flexible. Such health condition is called atherosclerosis. If a clot is formed in the coronary artery and narrows the passage or even blocks it, preventing the flow of blood, a stroke or heart attack may result. This is the reason why LDL is referred to as bad cholesterol. Levels of LDL cholesterol that’s higher than normal generally increases the risk of coronary heart disease.

lowering cholesterol levels

Types of Fats and its effects on Bad Cholesterol

Unsaturated fats

This fat is liquid when stored at room temperature. There are two kinds of unsaturated fat. The mono unsaturated fats are present in peanut oil, canola oil and olive oil. These fats help lower the LDL cholesterol as they raise the HDL cholesterol. This fat works well in lowering cholesterol level. The other kind is the polyunsaturated fats, which is found in sunflower oil, corn oil and fish. This fat not only lowers the bad, but also the good cholesterol as well.

Saturated fats

Saturated type of fat is solid when store at room temperature. This is the bad type of fat as it raises your bad cholesterol. Saturated fats are usually found in animal fats such as butter and lard.

Trans fats

The third type is the trans fat, which is created by the injection of hydrogen into some plant oil making it partially solid. Trans fats are man-made product and are widely use for the production of processed foods such as biscuits, cookies and cakes. Trans fats are popular as a food ingredient because of its relative cheapness. It is very efficient in enhancing the flavors of food products. It effectively acts as a food preservative.

Unfortunately, like saturated fats, trans fats have bad effects as it raises the LDL level and lowers the HDL. Trans fats are generally detrimental for the cholesterol levels and ultimately disastrous to your health. Reading the product labels carefully helps you avoid the intake of trans fat in order to keep the level of bad cholesterol in your system as low as possible.