A woman’s cholesterol levels may change — even if her diet doesn’t — after she goes through menopause. Women generate their own natural protection from heart disease in the form of estrogen. Since estrogen naturally raises high-density lipoproteins (HDL), or “good” cholesterol, women tend to have higher HDL levels than men. As estrogen levels decline after menopause, however, out goes the good and in comes the bad — in this case, low-density lipoproteins (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol. As we age, HDL levels decrease and LDL levels begin to increase.