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LDL Cholesterol & Cardiovascular Disease Risk (CVD)

Cholesterol is part of a healthy diet, but too much cholesterol can lead to cardiovascular disease (CVD), heart attack and stroke. Our bodies produce cholesterol, an essential fat-like and waxy substance, that is naturally found in our body cells and blood stream. It travels through the bloodstream by way of lipoproteins for the purpose to make new cells, hormones, vitamin D, and substances that help to digest food.

In addition to what our bodies naturally make to support our health, foods we consume from our diet can impact our cholesterol numbers. (1) LDL (Low-density lipoprotein) popularly known as the “bad cholesterol,” has ability to join with other fats and other substances to create plaque buildup along artery walls. When this happens, arteries can become clogged and narrow, creating a reduction in blood flow. This results in a potential life-threatening event, as the artery can rupture, allow formation of blood clots and individuals become at risk of CVD including, heart attack, or stroke.

Know your desired target ranges:

What Does LDL tell us About Out Health?

Knowing your LDL numbers is a good indication of how low, or high a person’s risk is of having CVD. Having low levels of LDL’s is good but what about the size of the LDL’s? Do you think the size matters if the LDLs are small or if they are large? Some people would argue that LDL particle size does matter, and I agree that in a clinical setting, it can help with indicating metabolic issues such as insulin resistance. After all, studies have shown that small particle sized LDL’s have been highly associated with type 2 diabetes. However, when looking at both small and large LDL particles, they can equally have the same LDL volume number. For example, one large LDL particle will have the same equal volume as 6 small LDL particles. Therefore, I do not believe that the size of the LDL matters because overall, it is the volume number that indicates a person’s risk for CVD.

Keys To Lowering LDL Cholesterol

Maintaining low LDL’s, a healthy diet, regular exercise, avoiding smoking and if recommended by a health care professional, incorporating low-cholesterol medication will help to lower risk of heart disease. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends all adults over 20 years of age should check their cholesterol numbers with a healthcare professional every 4 to 6 years as long as risk remain low. (1)

Best In Health,

Melissa Marie


  1.  Gropper SS, Smith JL, Carr TP. Advanced nutrition and human metabolism. 8th ed. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning; 2022.

  2. Allaire J, Vors C, Couture P, Lamarche B. LDL particle number and size and cardiovascular risk: Anything new under the sun? Current Opinion in Lipidology. 2017;28(3). file:///Users/melissabasquez/Downloads/LDL_particle_number_and_size_and_cardiovascular.7.pdf.


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