How to Lower Triglycerides & LDL Cholesterol
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Cholesterol Level Targets
A common cholesterol test, which should be measured at least annually in most adults with diabetes, looks at the levels of three elements of blood lipids (fats in the blood):
1. low-density lipoproteins (LDL [bad] cholesterol)
2. high-density lipoproteins (HDL ([good] cholesterol), and
3. triglycerides, a fat that primarily comes from food.
1. LDL (Bad) Cholesterol
Target: Less than 100 mg/dl*
High levels of LDL (above 160 mg/dl) can result in plaque buildup, increasing the risk of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, which can lead to heart attack or stroke.
*Note: For individuals with cardiovascular disease, a lower LDL cholesterol goal of less than 70 mg/dl, typically requiring one or more medications, is recommended by the American Diabetes Association.
2. HDL (Good) Cholesterol
Target for men, greater than 40 mg/dl.
Target for women, greater than 50 mg/dl.
Low levels of HDL cholesterol are often associated with high levels of triglycerides.
Target: Less than 150 mg/dl
Read on for ways to reduce triglycerides and LDL cholesterol numbers.