Information on health, nutrition and other wellness topics

Cholesterol Levels

What is the Right Cholesterol Level?

Many people are asking about what is the right cholesterol level for maintaining health. Most of them have heard about the risks associated with having high cholesterol levels and are rather concerned that they may be encountering high cholesterol levels without them being aware of it. The reasons for these fears are sound and worth taking seriously, because high cholesterol levels would put you at a greater risk of suffering from heart attacks, heart diseases and strokes. It is highly important for you to know and maintain the correct cholesterol levels, so you can guard yourself from the serious dangers it could pose to your life and health.

What Causes High Cholesterol Levels?

Factors affecting the cholesterol levels include your race, gender, health, age as well as family history and lifestyle – whether you are a smoker or have high blood pressure, or are obese or overweight, have diabetic condition, and the type of exercises that you perform. Genes can play a role in influencing your cholesterol level as well as several drugs and diseases but usually, a high-fat diet can raise your cholesterol level.

These factors are taken into account when your doctor determines how your cholesterol levels affect your risk of heart disease.

Monitoring Cholesterol Levels

A cholesterol report shows your cholesterol levels as measured in milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL). It is best to have a blood test called a “lipoprotein profile” to find out your cholesterol levels. A complete lipoprotein profile will include

  • Total blood cholesterol level
  • HDL (good) cholesterol level
  • LDL (bad) cholesterol level
  • Triglyceride level

You can have your cholesterol level checked by your doctor. The cholesterol test may be a part of your annual physical examination or as your doctor recommends you to have one. The monitoring of your cholesterol level is a simple procedure that will help ensure that cholesterol levels in your blood are within normal cholesterol readings, which is a significant part of preventing heart disease.

Another way of monitoring cholesterol levels is by making use of home cholesterol monitors. These monitors are rapidly becoming one of the most popular medical devices available for home use. While they are not designed to take the place of a physician’s care, they can be valuable for someone who is under treatment for high cholesterol. Making use of home cholesterol monitors at home can reduce excessive visits to the doctor and provide an uncomplicated way of monitoring cholesterol levels.

Normal Cholesterol Readings

Total Blood Cholesterol Level

What is considered to be the normal range of cholesterol levels? Total cholesterol levels that are not more than 200 milligrams are considered desirable or normal cholesterol readings. Those who have these levels will not be at much risk of developing coronary heart diseases, provided that their LDL, HDL and triglyceride levels are also at optimal levels and have no other risk factors for heart disease.

When the total cholesterol levels rise above 200 milligrams, this is considered as borderline high. A level equal to and above 240 milligrams is considered as high cholesterol and these levels would cause one to be twice more at risk of heart diseases and stroke as compared to the lower cholesterol levels.

LDL Cholesterol Level

Other determinants with regard to risk factors for your medical health include the level of LDL (bad cholesterol). The lower your LDL cholesterol, the lower your risk of heart attack and stroke. In fact it is said to be a better indicator of risk than total blood cholesterol. Normal range of cholesterol levels for LDL is less than 100 milligrams while value of 100-129 is considered near optimal. If one’s cholesterol level reaches 130-159, this is borderline high and above 160 milligrams is considered high risk.

HDL Cholesterol Level

As far as the good cholesterol, a higher level of HDL is better. The normal range of cholesterol level for HDL is about 40 to 60 mg/dL and anything greater than 60 milligrams is considered good and gives some protection against heart disease.

Triglyceride Level

Triglycerides are a type of fat in the body. Those with high triglycerides often have a high total cholesterol level, including high LDL (bad) cholesterol and low HDL (good) cholesterol levels. High levels of triglyceride can be due to being overweight, physical inactivity, cigarette smoking, drinking a lot of alcohol and consuming more calories than you burn them.

Triglyceride levels and what they could mean:

  • Normal: less than 150 mg/dL
  • Borderline-High: 150-199 mg/dL
  • High: 200-499 mg/dL
  • Very High: 500 mg/dL

If a person’s triglyceride level reaches 150 mg/dL or higher, he can have increased risk for heart disease and diabetes. Changing one’s lifestyle to include weight loss, incorporating a heart-healthy diet, exercise, avoiding smoking and limiting alcohol intake can lead one not only to attaining correct cholesterol levels and triglyceride numbers but is also a natural therapy to avoiding heart diseases and other health disorders.