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Blood Lipid Levels Explained | Ice Barrel

Blood Lipid Levels Explained

When you’re taking steps to improve your health, there are many health measures that could help you know if you’re on the right track. Your blood lipid levels are one of these measures.

This article explains what blood lipids are, how to measure them, and how they could affect your health, as well as some natural ways to manage your blood lipid levels.

What Are Blood Lipids?

Blood lipids are fats that circulate through your bloodstream. There are many types of blood lipids, including:

  • Cholesterol. Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that’s made by your liver. It’s an essential building block for your cell membranes, and it also helps your body produce vitamin D and certain hormones. While your body needs some cholesterol, too much could lead to health problems.
  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL). HDL is a lipoprotein (combination of fat and protein) that carries cholesterol around your body. It’s often called the “good cholesterol” because it transports cholesterol back to your liver where it can be cleared from your body.
  • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL). LDL is the other main lipoprotein, and it transports cholesterol to your body’s cells. Despite this important function, it’s often called the “bad cholesterol” because it can build up on the walls of your arteries. This narrows your arteries and may cause blockages.
  • Triglycerides. Triglycerides are the most common type of fat in your body. Very-low density lipoproteins (VLDL) carry them around your bloodstream to provide energy to your tissues.

How Are Blood Lipid Levels Measured?

Your healthcare provider may order blood tests to measure your blood lipid levels. The lipid panel, also known as the lipid profile or lipoprotein profile, is a blood test that measures the amount of several types of lipids: Total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.

Interpreting Your Test Results

The results of the lipid panel will help you and your healthcare provider understand your blood lipid levels. The levels that are considered normal vary slightly depending on your age and sex. Below, you’ll find the normal ranges for adults aged 20 and older.

Normal Blood Lipid Levels for Men
  • Total cholesterol: 125 mg/dL to 200 mg/dL
  • LDL cholesterol: Less than 100 mg/dL
  • HDL cholesterol: 40 mg/dL or higher
  • Triglycerides: Less than 150 mg/dL
Normal Blood Lipid Levels for Women
  • Total cholesterol: 125 mg/dL to 200 mg/dL
  • LDL cholesterol: Less than 100 mg/dL
  • HDL cholesterol: 50 mg/dL or higher
  • Triglycerides: Less than 150 mg/dL
Blood Lipid Levels: What They Mean for Your Health

Why Does It Matter if You Have High Blood Lipid Levels?

High blood lipid levels have been linked to a higher risk of many serious health conditions. Here’s what the science says about why high blood lipid levels matter:

  • Elevated total cholesterol levels are a strong risk factor for coronary heart disease, according to a review of studies published in Atherosclerosis. This effect is slightly smaller in women than in men.
  • The National Kidney Foundation warns that people with high total cholesterol have a higher risk of chronic kidney disease.
  • High HDL levels are associated with a higher risk of breast cancer, according to a review of studies published in BMC Medicine. Increased levels of Lp(a), a type of LDL, are linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer.
  • High triglyceride levels are the third-most-common cause of acute inflammation of the pancreas, after gallstones and alcohol, according to an article in BMJ Case Reports.

How To Control Your Blood Lipid Levels

Doctors may recommend medications to help control cholesterol and other blood lipids. There are also many lifestyle changes that could help you naturally control your blood lipid levels. Some natural ways to control blood lipid levels include:

  • Watching your diet. Reducing the amount of saturated fat and trans fat in your diet may help lower your blood cholesterol levels. Instead, eat heart-healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats.
  • Getting regular exercise. Regular aerobic exercise can lower triglyceride levels and raise HDL levels. If you’re new to exercise, low-intensity activities like walking are sufficient to control blood lipid levels, according to a review in Lipids in Health and Disease.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight. Being overweight may raise your triglyceride level. To control your blood lipid levels, reach or maintain a healthy weight.
  • Quitting smoking. The nicotine in tobacco may affect the balance of your blood lipids. It may increase your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and decrease your levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. Smoking cigarettes may also increase your triglyceride levels.
  • Taking a cold plunge. Research shows that regular cold water immersion therapy may lead to significant reductions in LDL levels. Ice Barrel makes it easy to add cold baths to your routine.

Add Cold Water Immersion to Your Routine

Healthy lifestyle habits, including taking regular cold baths, could help you control your blood lipid levels. Ice Barrel is a purpose-built cold-therapy tool that makes ice baths both easy and convenient. Simply fill your Ice Barrel with water and ice and take a cold plunge!

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