Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

What are the different types of cholesterol?

The Different Types of Cholesterol

  • Protein packages transport cholesterol through your body. The packages are called lipoproteins. They come in two types.
  • LDL is short for low-density lipoprotein. It is known as the bad or the least desirable cholesterol.
  • HDL is short for high-density lipoprotein. It is known as the good or highly desirable cholesterol.
  • Your LDL and HDL levels together are the major components of your total cholesterol level.
  • Having too much LDL or too little HDL can be unhealthy.

Cholesterol can't dissolve in blood. So in order for cholesterol to move through your bloodstream to areas where it's needed, cholesterol must travel in protein packages called lipoproteins. Most cholesterol in your body travels in low-density lipoprotein packages or high-density lipoprotein packages. This is the reason doctors sometimes refer to cholesterol as LDL cholesterol or HDL cholesterol.

Learn more about cholesterol and heart health by visiting the following links: