Which of these statements is most true?

  1. LDL is ‘bad’ cholesterol, HDL is ‘good’ cholesterol
  2. HDL is ‘bad’ cholesterol, LDL is ‘good’ cholesterol
  3. All cholesterol is ‘bad’
  4. All cholesterol is ‘good’

ANSWER: LDL is ‘bad’ cholesterol, HDL is ‘good’ cholesterol

LDL (low-density lipoprotein) is not exactly all ‘bad,’ as its name suggests. After all, it carries cholesterol through the body and delivers it to the cells for use. But high levels are associated with increased risk of heart disease because LDL combines with other substances to create plaque, clogging the arteries.

HDL is considered ‘good’ cholesterol because it may slow plaque growth and is believed to carry cholesterol away from the heart, back to the liver, so that it can be passed from the body. High levels of HDL are associated with lower risks of heart attack and stroke.