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Know Your Ideal Cholesterol Reading

Cholesterol is a substance that is present in the human body, and is both good and bad for us. High levels of cholesterol, especially LDL or bad cholesterol can put you at an increased risk for heart diseases and strokes. Similarly, low levels of HDL or good cholesterol, can also increase your risk substantially. But what are high and low levels of cholesterol?

Here’s a view of ideal cholesterol readings.

Total Cholesterol: According to the total cholesterol in your body, you may have normal levels or increased levels of cholesterol.

Under 200mg/DL: This is the most desirable level of cholesterol to have. If you have cholesterol lower than 200 milligrams per deciliter of blood, then you are considered to have the optimum and normal levels of cholesterol.

Between 200 and 239mg/DL: People within this range of total body cholesterol fall into the category of borderline high risk for getting heart diseases or stroke.

240mg/DL and above: If your total body cholesterol is 240mg/DL or more, then you are at very high risk for contracting heart ailments.

Normal Levels Of HDL Cholesterol: The normal levels of HDL cholesterol are 50-60 mg/DL for women, and 40-50mg/DL for men. HDL is the good cholesterol, and levels lower than 40mg/DL can increase your risk of heart diseases.

Normal Levels Of LDL Cholesterol
Here is a chart, which will show you the optimum, normal, and high levels of LDL cholesterol.

Levels Of LDL Cholesterol                        Diagnosis
Below 100mg/DL                                              Optimum levels
Between 100 and 129mg/DL                          Normal levels
Between 130 and 159mg/DL                          Borderline Risk
Between 160 and 189mg/DL                          High Risk
More Than 190mg/DL                                     Very High Risk

High Cholesterol can increase the risk of:

  • Narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis)
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA) – often known as a “mini stroke”
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)
What should you avoid if you have high cholesterol?

Different factors can contribute to high blood cholesterol, including smoking, an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise, as well as having an underlying condition, such as high blood pressure or diabetes.

One of the most beneficial changes is limiting the saturated and trans fats you eat. Saturated fats — such as those in meat, butter, cheese and other full-fat dairy products — raise your total cholesterol

Note that these readings are guidelines and are considered as part of your overall profile when a doctor makes an assessment of your ideal cholesterol readings. Some people may read high compared to others and yet be found to not be at risk.

This is because cholesterol is also made naturally by the body and some people may simply have higher levels than others. However, by understanding the ideal cholesterol reading ranges and by making healthy lifestyle choices, you should be able to achieve your own ideal cholesterol levels, naturally.

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