Most people know that the old ideas of cholesterol are out dated. They are ingrained in the governmental system, highly politicized and will probably never go away. The problem is not cholesterol. It is oxidized cholesterol and oxidation and inflammation (the same thing) in general. Oxidized means rancid, rotten.
If your body is inflamed then your cholesterol will be oxidized. So if you want to save money spend it on the AA/EFA test.
That being said some people really like to see what is going on with their cholesterol. If you are interested in cholesterol then lets use the most current information.
This has to do with the size of the cholesterol particles and the number of the particles.
Cholesterol travels through the body in particles. Think of cars as PARTICLES and the cholesterol as the passengers in the cars .
We care about the AMOUNT and SIZE of cars (particles) not the number of passengers (cholesterol). Typical cholesterol tests only measure passengers not cars.
Too many particles creates a traffic jam and clogging in the arteries.
Small particles can get buried into the artery walls, and if they are oxidized will deteriorate the arteries from the inside out.
So if you want to get useful information about cholesterol take a test that measures LDL-p (which means LDL particles.) and small LDL, which meals how many small particles of LDL are there. This is called NMR with IR test.
The LDL-p should be less than 1000 and the small particles should be less than 500.
In all these examples the yellow balls represent the cholesterol and the bigger black circles represent the particles
As far as the body is concerned the above particle that is full of cholesterol is just the same as below where you see one particle with few cholesterol in it. Even though on a cholesterol test the bottom test would show lower total cholesterol.
Either of the above "small particles" on the left are worse than the big particles to the right because small particles get into and oxidize the cell wall.
The left picture is worse than the picture on the right. The yellow balls represent the cholesterol and you can see that the total number is less than the picture on the right. But the picture on the right has fewer particles (3) where the picture on the left has 10 particles.
All that we care about is the number of particles and the size of the particles.
Click here for a more detailed article on particles versus cholesterol.