"What's your cholesterol?"
As men reach middle age, they're more likely to ask each other about health than sports, and when the talk turns from league leaders to medicine, cholesterol is likely to be in first place. Yet for all its notoriety, cholesterol is often misunderstood, especially when it comes to HDL, the "good" cholesterol. It's a shame, particularly since so many men overlook the simple things they can do to boost their levels of HDL cholesterol.
Good, bad, and neutral
Misconceptions about cholesterol begin with the very nature of the chemical. Most people think of it as a fat, but it's actually a sterol, a waxy, fatlike substance with a ringed structure not found in true fats.
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.