Most people are considered about what their cholesterol levels are. Is there total cholesterol high? What about LDL and HDL cholesterol? In recent years there have been studies indicating that LDL is the “bad” cholesterol and HDL is the “good” cholesterol. Therefore, it is bad to have high levels of LDL while you want to have as much HDL as possible.
There are professionals that now go beyond this understanding and argue that it is not the actual LDL cholesterol that can predict the risk of heart disease, but rather the amount of LDL particles that carry cholesterol. It is these particles that can be harmful to your arteries.
Dr. Ian J. Wilson points this out clearly in The Columbus Dispatch:
If your LDL particle count is over 1,000, you may not be optimally protected from what is now a preventable disease. Let me reiterate: LDL cholesterol is not a reliable predictor of cardiovascular risk.
He uses the recent report about President Barack Obama’s LDL cholesterol reading for a reason to make this distinction. While the report states that LDL cholesterol level for President Obama, it does not mention the LDL particle count.
It is clear that even medical professionals are still working out the best way to test for the risk of heart disease. While this may not be 100% clear, it is best to understand that we are fairly certain about what behaviors, diet and lifestyle choices can increase the risk. Therefore, it is best to focus on maintaining a healthy diet, be within an acceptable weight range and to stop smoking.