Q. When I’m looking at LDL and HDL cholesterol numbers, which is the good and which is the bad?
The HDL is the good and the LDL is the bad. You want lower LDL and higher HDL.
LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein, and it is thought to be the type that sticks to your artery walls and helps cause the plaque buildup that eventually leads to heart attacks and other heart problems. HDL stands for high-density lipoprotein, which is thought to cart the cholesterol off to the liver, where it can be flushed out and not stick to your arteries.
Ideally you would like to have an overall cholesterol level below 200 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter), with HDL of 60 mg/dL or better and LDL below 130 mg/dL. Overall cholesterol above 240 is considered high, while HDL below 40 and/or LDL above 160 could also be warning signs. As they say, see your doctor to see how worried (or happy) you should be about your cholesterol levels.