Very low density lipoprotein, also known as VLDL cholesterol, is a form of cholesterol that helps to distribute trigylicerides through the bloodstream. A portion of this type of cholesterol also converts into LDL or low density protein cholesterol, which can eventually clog blood vessels and lead to a number of health issues. Because of this conversion, physicians tend to monitor VLDL cholesterol levels along with LDL and HDL levels.
Unlike the processes for measuring the levels of HDL and LDL cholesterol present in the system, it is necessary to prepare an estimate of VLDL levels in the body. This is accomplished by identifying a percentage of the trigylercide level present. For the most part, a reading of anywhere between five and forty milligrams per deciliter is considered within normal range, although physicians tend to encourage patients to make lifestyle changes when the reading is at the upper end of this range.
When it is necessary to lower VLDL cholesterol levels, this is best accomplished by consuming foods that do not promote the collection of high amounts of LDL and triglycerides in the system. This often means minimizing or eliminating fatty meats as well as cutting back of processed sugars. Limiting alcohol consumption is also often recommended.
In addition to limiting or eliminating certain foods from the diet, doctors often encourage patients with higher levels of this type of cholesterol to consume more green vegetables, fresh fruits and whole grains. This can help to increase the amount of fiber in the diet, which will also help to lower cholesterol levels in the bloodstream.
Along with dietary changes, physicians often recommend that patients make it a point to exercise on a regular basis. Physical activity sustained for at least a period of thirty minutes can help promote healthier levels of high density lipoproteins in the body while also lowering LDL and VLDL levels.
When high VLDL cholesterol levels are identified, doctors may also address the issue of the patient’s weight. If the patient is carrying around a few extra pounds, the physician will often encourage the patient to lose enough weight to get back into what is considered a healthy range. Exercise and diet will both help with this effort; in addition, losing the weight means less stored fat in the system and less bad cholesterol in the body overall.
Taking steps to keep VLDL cholesterol levels within an acceptable range is just as important as maintaining good or HDL levels and lowering LDL levels. Seeking to balance all these factors will help to minimize the chances for strokes, heart attacks, and other conditions involving the coronary system.