Although cholesterol is often broken down into two different types, there is really just one form of cholesterol. Where it differs is in the lipoproteins that encapsulate the cholesterol molecule so it can be transported by the body. These include:
- Low density lipoprotein (LDL) -- which is referred to as "bad cholesterol"
- High density lipoprotein (HDL) -- which is referred to as "good cholesterol"
- Very low density lipoprotein (VLDL).
Although you want to keep your cholesterol at a healthy level, it's important to keep in mind that your body does need this substance to function properly, so keep your HDL numbers up and your LDL numbers down, and you may just minimize your risk for heart disease and other health conditions.
(Click Types of Cholesterol to learn more about what cholesterol is and why we need it, as well as detailed information on the differences between LDL, HDL, and VLDL.)