University of Illinois Extension

What is LDL-cholesterol: The "Bad" Cholesterol

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When a person has too much LDL-cholesterol in the blood, it can slowly build up on the inner walls of the arteries, which supply blood to the heart and brain. Together with other substances it can form plaque, a thick, hard coating that can clog the arteries. A high LDL cholesterol level increases your risk of heart disease. An LDL level between 130-159 is considered borderline high risk for heart disease and an LDL level of 160 or over is considered a high risk.

To achieve healthful LDL and/or total cholesterol levels:

  • Eat less saturated fat and cholesterol
  • Eat more high fiber foods
  • Substitute unsaturated fats for saturated fats
  • Lose excess weight

Back to: Eating for Cardiovascular Health

This document is a source of information only, and is not medical advice.