Low density lipoprotein, or LDL, transports cholesterol from your liver and delivers it to the tissues that need it. However, if cholesterol is unneeded, then LDL circulates throughout your bloodstream. For health-related purposes, you should maintain your LDL cholesterol in a certain range. An LDL of 111 is not bad, but is not optimal either. Reducing your LDL may be as easy as changing some simple dietary and activity habits.
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Cholesterol is measured in milligrams per deciliter of blood. When you receive a reading of 111 for your LDL cholesterol, this means there are 111 milligrams of LDL cholesterol per deciliter of blood, or mg/dL. An ideal LDL range is less than 100 mg/dL. However, anything between 100 to 129 mg/dL is still considered okay. When your LDL begins to exceed 160 mg/dL, it is marked as high.
LDL cholesterol can contribute to the formation of arterial clots, or atherosclerosis. When atherosclerosis begins, an injury to the arterial wall prompts the response of white blood cells to the scene. A congregation, allows oxidized LDL cholesterol to stick to these cells as well. In an attempt to neutralize the oxidized LDL, macrophages, another type of white blood cell, ingests the LDL particles, but if an overabundance of LDL is present, the macrophages and LDL cholesterol turn into a "fatty streak" lesion. This lesion is harmful and to protect the body from it, your blood begins to form a coagulation to contain the fatty streak, which turns into a blood clot. If this blood clot is blocking the blood flow of an artery to your heart or brain, you could suffer from a heart attack or stroke. If the blood clot becomes dislodged, it could travel through your veins and result in an embolism, heart attack or stroke.
A LDL of 111 mg/dL is not so high that it cannot be controlled through a lifestyle change. Changing your diet to reduce your intake of saturated fats and cholesterol may help reduce your LDL. Limit your intake of saturated fat to no more than 7 percent of your calories and limit your cholesterol to 200 mg or less each day. You may also consider increasing your fiber intake, which can reduce LDL as well.
Exercise and Weight Loss
Regular physical activity and reducing your weight are two additional steps to take to reduce LDL levels. Try to get 30 minutes of aerobic physical activity each day. You may consider increasing this amount if you have excess weight to lose. Being overweight or obese can cause an increase in cholesterol. Losing just a few pounds can help control your cholesterol levels.
- National Heart Lung and Blood Institute; High Blood Cholesterol; June 2005
- "Anatomy and Physiology"; Kenneth S. Saladin; 2004
- "Exercise Testing and Prescription"; David C. Nieman; 2007
- "Atherosclerosis: Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms; Sarah Jane George, et al.; 2010