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What is VLDL cholesterol and what does it mean when it is high

VLDL is a type of cholesterol considered to be bad as the LDL cholesterol because when it is in high concentrations in the blood can lead to the accumulation of fat in the arteries and plaque formation of atherosclerosis, increasing the risk of heart disease. See what are the other types of cholesterol.

VLDL cholesterol is produced in the liver and its function is to transport the triglycerides through the bloodstream, which are fat molecules to produce energy in the cells. Therefore, high values of this cholesterol occur due to excess fat and carbohydrates in the diet, in addition to being overweight and lack of physical activity.

Reference range

The reference values for VLDL cholesterol are:

  • Normal: 2 to 30 mg / dL;
  • High: above 30 mg / dL.

This cholesterol is measured by a blood test along with the other types of cholesterol, and although fasting is no longer necessary for this test, it is recommended by the laboratories to fast for at least 12 to 14 hours before taking the test. See how to interpret the result of a cholesterol test.

What is VLDL cholesterol and what does it mean when it is high

High VLDL Risks

Elevated VLDL cholesterol values increase the risk of plaque formation and clogging of blood vessels, which can cause problems such as heart attack, high blood pressure and stroke.

This risk is even higher when the LDL values are also high, since this type of cholesterol also favors the appearance of cardiovascular diseases.

Is having low VLDL levels bad?

Having low levels of VLDL does not pose a health risk because it means that triglyceride and fat levels are low, which favors the health of the heart and blood vessels.

How to lower VLDL levels

To lower VLDL blood triglyceride levels you should follow a diet low in fat and high in fiber foods, as shown in the following table:

What to eatWhat to avoid or not to eat
Chicken and fish, without the skinRed meats and fried foods
Milk and skimmed yogurtSausage, salami, bologna and bacon
White light cheesesWhole grain milk and yellow cheeses like cheddar, catupiry and dish
Fruits and natural fruit juiceSodas and industrialized juices
Legumes and vegetables, preferably rawReady-to-eat frozen foods, powdered soup and seasonings such as meat or vegetables cubes
Sunflower, linseed and chia seedsPizza, lasagna, cheese sauces, cakes, white breads, pastries and stuffed biscuits

In addition, it is important to control your weight, do physical activity regularly, and see your doctor at least once a year to assess your heart health and see the need to take cholesterol-lowering medications.

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