Difference Between LDL and Triglycerides

Main Difference – LDL vs Triglycerides

Cholesterol is a substance produced inside our body; it is also provided by certain types of food such as meat, butter, margarine, oils etc. Cholesterol is waxy in nature and does not dissolve in water. The key difference between LDL and triglycerides is that low density lipoprotein (LDL) is a type of lipoprotein, which helps in the transportation of cholesterol in our body whereas Triglyceride is a form of dietary fat synthesized in the liver.

This article explores,

1. What is Lipoprotein?
     – Definition, Features, Types

2. What is LDL?
     – Definition, Functions, Associated Risks
     – How to Calculate the Total LDL Level in Blood
     – How to Control High Cholesterol Levels in Blood

3. What is Triglycerides?
     – Definition, Functions, Associated Risks
     – How to Reduce Triglycerides in the Body

4. What is the difference between LDL and Triglycerides?Difference Between LDL and Triglycerides - Comparison Summary

What is Lipoprotein

For cholesterol to be transported in blood or any other substances inside the body, there are transporter proteins known as Lipoproteins. As far as the structure of a Lipoprotein is concerned, they are globular in shape with droplets of fat inside surrounded by a rim of phospholipids. Having both polar and non-polar ends, they are known to be amphipathic in nature, which means one part of them is soluble in water whereas the other is not. This property of lipoproteins makes them act as fat transporters in blood.

There are 5 main types of Lipoproteins:

  • Chylomicrons – Largest yet least dense type of lipoproteins, which has the highest content of triglycerides.
  • VLDL – a very low-density lipoprotein which consists of proteins, fats, and cholesterol produced in the liver.
  • IDL – an intermediate density lipoprotein, produced by VLDL metabolism
  • LDL – a low-density lipoprotein, which is the last remain of VLDL, containing cholesterol
  • HDL – a high density lipoprotein which carries cholesterol from the tissues to the liver. Known as the ‘good’ type of lipoprotein, this helps to reduce cholesterol in the blood.

What is LDL Cholesterol

Low density lipoprotein (LDL) is a type of lipoprotein, which helps in the transportation of cholesterol in our body. This is often referred to as a ‘bad’ cholesterol type since it can get deposited on blood vessel walls as thick and dense plaques and attracts macrophages which will eventually obstruct the vessel lumen causing Atherosclerosis.

Increased LDL levels markedly increase the risk of coronary artery disease.

Every person who is suspected to have Hypercholesterolemia should get a lipid profile done once in every month, which will reveal a laboratory measurement of LDL cholesterol in the body.

How to Calculate the Total LDL Level in Blood

Here is how laboratory reports calculate the total LDL level in your blood (mg/dl)

LDL cholesterol = [Total cholesterol] – [HDL cholesterol] – [Triglycerides]/5

How to Control High Cholesterol Levels in Blood

High cholesterol levels in blood can be controlled by,

  • Consuming a healthy diet rich in whole grain, oatmeals, leafy vegetables, fruits
  • Cutting down excessive refined fats modified carbohydrates and unsaturated oils
  • Regular exercises (brisk walking, 30 minutes per day for 4-5 days per week)
  • Quit smoking
  • Reduce consumption of alcohol
  • Cholesterol lowering drugs-Statins, according to medical advice
    Main Difference - LDL vs Triglycerides

    Structure of LDL receptor family members

What are Triglycerides

Triglycerides are a form of dietary fat synthesized in the liver. They are also taken in with certain food types such as meat, dairy products, and cooking oils. No matter what the source is, both types of these triglycerides are used to produce energy and store fat.

In healthy individuals, the level of triglycerides in blood will be highly elevated just after a meal where it takes few minutes to come back to the normal level. But, people suffering from various pathological conditions may not respond well to this regulatory mechanism, so there will a prolonged elevation of triglycerides in the blood.

Conditions where the triglyceride mechanism is found to be impaired:

  • Lipoprotein Lipase Deficiency (LPLD)
  • Familial Combined Hyperlipidemia
  • Type 3 Hyperlipidemia
  • Pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome

All these conditions are comparatively rare in the general population, but it is important to be watchful since they play a major role in increasing the levels of triglycerides in the blood.

How to Reduce Triglycerides in the Body

  • Consuming a balanced diet rich in fruits and leafy vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and small portions of lean meat and fish
  • Losing weight if overweight or obese (A 5-10% of weight reduction will drastically reduce the triglyceride levels in blood)
  • Limiting sugary foods, modified carbohydrates, tobacco smoking, and alcohol
  • Routine medical check-ups with lipid profile

It is highly recommended to keep triglycerides under control since their elevation above the marginal value can act as a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, and Diabetes Mellitus.

Difference Between LDL and Triglycerides

Difference Between LDL and Triglycerides

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is a type of lipoprotein, which helps in the transportation of cholesterol in our body.

Triglyceride is a form of dietary fat synthesized in the liver as well as taken in with certain food types such as meat, dairy products, and cooking oils.

Elevated levels of both these substances in blood are known to be clinical measurements which give a hint towards hypercholesterolemia.

Image Courtesy:

“Structure of LDL receptor family members” By AntiSense – Own work via


About the Author: Embogama

Embogama is a passionate freelance writer for several years. Her areas of interest include general medicine, clinical medicine, health and fitness, Ayurveda medicine, psychology, counseling and piano music

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