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  • Question 1/13

    Which cholesterol test number is most important for your heart?

  • Answer 1/13

    Which cholesterol test number is most important for your heart?

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    A high level of LDL, the bad cholesterol, is the biggest threat to your heart -- although the other numbers are important, too. Bad cholesterol can clog your arteries and lead to a heart attack or stroke.

     

    Lower tends to be better for LDL, though your personal goal depends on your heart risk. Diabetes, middle age, or family heart troubles can all raise your risk.  

  • Answer 1/13

    What are triglycerides?

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    Triglycerides are a kind of fat. They're found in foods, in the plump areas of your body, and in your blood. Your body makes them from any food you eat. You use them for energy right away and store extras in your fat cells for later. Hello, belly fat!

     

    If you eat too many calories, especially sugars or carbs like candy and sweetened drinks -- the level of triglycerides in your blood can be high.

     

  • Question 1/13

    If your total cholesterol is OK, the other numbers don't matter.

  • Answer 1/13

    If your total cholesterol is OK, the other numbers don't matter.

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    Your total cholesterol gives you a ballpark idea of your chances of having a heart attack -- but it doesn't tell the whole story. Your doctor will need to look at all your "numbers" together: LDL, HDL, triglycerides, and total cholesterol.

     

     

  • Question 1/13

    What you eat the night before a cholesterol test can mess up your numbers.

  • Answer 1/13

    What you eat the night before a cholesterol test can mess up your numbers.

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    After you've enjoyed a hearty dinner of spaghetti and meatballs, with ice cream for dessert, your LDL cholesterol and triglycerides can briefly go through the roof.

     

    It's best not to eat or drink anything except water for nine to 12 hours before a cholesterol blood test. This "fasting" test will give the most accurate results for all your numbers.

     

  • Answer 1/13

    What's a good triglyceride level?

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    Aim to keep your triglyceride number below 150 mg/dL to protect your heart. Should you go even lower? Maybe. Some leading doctors say that getting below 100 mg/DL is best.

     

    Here's how other triglyceride test results stack up:

    • 150 -199 mg/dL: Borderline high
    • 200 - 499: High
    • 500 or above: Very high

     

  • Question 1/13

    If you have high triglycerides, you'll probably need medicine.

  • Answer 1/13

    If you have high triglycerides, you'll probably need medicine.

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    Most people can bring down triglyceride levels by making changes to what they eat and getting enough exercise.

  • Question 1/13

    Cake can be worse than bacon if you have high triglycerides.

  • Answer 1/13

    Cake can be worse than bacon if you have high triglycerides.

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    Your body makes triglycerides quickly and easily from sugar and refined flour, two main ingredients in cake.

     

    Bacon is certainly not great for your heart or your cholesterol level, since it has a lot of fat and saturated fat. But it won't make your triglycerides rise as quickly as a slice of chocolate cake.

  • Question 1/13

    Which drink is worst for your triglycerides?

  • Answer 1/13

    Which drink is worst for your triglycerides?

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    Alcohol is chock-full of calories and sugar, and can give your triglyceride levels a powerful push in the wrong direction. If you've got high triglycerides, cut back on how much alcohol you drink.

  • Question 1/13

    Which can raise your triglyceride level?

  • Answer 1/13

    Which can raise your triglyceride level?

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    Many people with diabetes have high triglyceride levels.  Luckily, some of the same steps that help control blood sugar can better your triglycerides. Lose extra pounds, get more exercise, and eat more fiber from beans, veggies, and whole grains.

  • Question 1/13

    What should your good cholesterol level be?

  • Answer 1/13

    What should your good cholesterol level be?

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    A good cholesterol level of 60 or higher can help protect you from a heart attack or stroke. An HDL number that is too low -- and bad for your heart -- depends partly on your gender:

    • Risky for men - below 40 mg/dL
    • Risky for women - below 50 mg/dL

    You can raise your good cholesterol with exercise, losing extra weight, and quitting smoking. Alcohol may slightly raise HDL, but moderation is key. That means no more than one drink a day for women and one to two drinks a day for men.

  • Question 1/13

    Which is worse for your cholesterol?

  • Answer 1/13

    Which is worse for your cholesterol?

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    Coconut meat and coconut milk are chock-full of saturated fat, which raises levels of bad cholesterol.

     

    Walnuts can actually be good for your cholesterol, if you eat a small handful instead of a junk-food snack. They're a good source of fiber and healthy, omega-3 fats. Keep an eye on portion size, because walnuts have lots of calories.

  • Question 1/13

    A health fair cholesterol test is a waste of time.

  • Answer 1/13

    A health fair cholesterol test is a waste of time.

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    Cholesterol tests done at a health fair can be a good first step, but you need to talk to your doctor about the results. The triglyceride and bad cholesterol numbers can be wrong, depending on what you ate beforehand.

     

    Your doctor can go over what your numbers mean and talk with you about lifestyle changes and treatment -- and follow up to see if they've worked.

  • Question 1/13

    An underactive thyroid gland can…

  • Answer 1/13

    An underactive thyroid gland can…

    • You answered:
    • Correct Answer:

    When your thyroid gland slows down, called hypothyroid, it can send your triglycerides and bad cholesterol soaring. Usually, taking thyroid medicine fixes the problem and will bring both numbers back into a safe zone.

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Sources | Reviewed by Suzanne R. Steinbaum, MD on February 15, 2017 Medically Reviewed on February 15, 2017

Reviewed by Suzanne R. Steinbaum, MD on
February 15, 2017

IMAGES PROVIDED BY:

Gary S Chapman / Photographer’s Choice

SOURCES:

Adlin, V. American Family Physician, Feb. 15, 1998.

American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, A Roadmap for Managing Your Triglycerides and Protecting Your Heart.

American Heart Association: "What Your Cholesterol Levels Mean," "Triglycerides," "Triglycerides: Frequently Asked Questions," "How to Get Your Cholesterol Tested," "Public Cholesterol Screening (Adults and Children)."

Brinton, EJ. Current Atherosclerosis Reports, April 2012.

Crouse, JR. Journal of Lipid Research, May 1984.

Solano, Maria. Clinical Diabetes, January 2006.

University of Massachusetts Medical Center, "What You Can Do to Lower Your Triglycerides."

USDA Nutrient Database.

This tool does not provide medical advice.
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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.