Most people over 40 are recommended to get an annual cholesterol test that measures total cholesterol, HDL (good cholesterol), LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides. Individuals with known high cholesterol may be tested every 4 to 6 months.
Individuals younger than 40, including adolescents and some children, who are overweight or who have high insulin levels should also have their cholesterol tested.
The lesser-known information about cholesterol has to do with the sizes of your cholesterol particles. We know that some people who have normal cholesterol levels can have heart attacks. We think this has to do with the particular size of their cholesterol particles.
The worst type of cholesterol is the small, dense bad cholesterol (LDL). These particles like to infiltrate arteries and create plaque. This is especially true if the good cholesterol (HDL) is also a smaller sized particle.
Triglycerides have more to do with the amount and types of carbohydrates that you eat. High triglycerides indicate problems with sugar and/or insulin, and possibly also problems with alcohol. These levels should be lower than 150 mg/dl.
In short, when you check your cholesterol levels, be sure to get the more accurate VAP analysis. The best cholesterol profile is one that has high levels of large HDL, low levels of overall LDL, and low triglycerides. In addition check to be sure your LDL cholesterol is of the largest size fraction.