Cholesterol levels matter because coronary heart disease matters.
Coronary heart disease is the number killer of men and women in the US and other developed countries. It can lead to…
… to mention some of the more serious conditions. High cholesterol is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease. If your cholesterol levels are high you are at increased risk for developing heart disease.
A lipoprotein profile includes…
Cholesterol levels are not the only important consideration in evaluating risk for coronary heart disease. Triglyceride levels are becoming increasingly important. Research has shown that high triglycerides are an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease. Therefore it is important to include information on triglyceride levels here.
Evaluating risk for heart disease is more complicated than looking at charts on cholesterol levels and triglycerides. Proper evaluation requires a consideration of other risk factors for developing heart disease. Your doctor will take these other risk factors into account when setting goals for you. You can, however, use this link to read more on evaluating risk and LDL cholesterol.
For now we will have to content ourselves with more general considerations.
When you receive your lipoprotein test results you will see your cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels in milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL). The charts below will help you understand what these numbers mean.
Here’s a question for you…
Are you sick and tired of just not
Are there health issues – in addition to your heart health – that concern you? Like…
Anxiety? Or not sleeping well? Or joint pain? Or low energy? Or poor digestion? Or weight gain? Or stress? Why do so many people suffer from these symptoms and others? Those nagging health issues that seem so difficult to define.
Did you know that these health problems – as well as more serious chronic diseases – can be the result of …
Many people have come to realize this and have made changes to recapture their health. We have a great – FREE – resource we want you to have. Simply click the link below.
Assuming no other risk factors - and your LDL and HDL are within acceptable ranges - your total blood cholesterol should be below 200 mg/dL. Such a scenario indicates that you have a low risk of developing coronary heart disease and the other chronic conditions that can develop from it.
|Below 200 mg/dL||Desirable (lower risk for heart disease)|
|200-239 mg/dL||Borderline high|
|Above 239 mg/dL||High (more than 2x risk for heart disease)|
If your total cholesterol levels fall within the borderline high range then your doctor will evaluate other risk factors including HDL, LDL, and triglyceride levels. If these are all within optimal ranges your doctor will most likely recommend lifestyle modifications rather than medication.
If other risk factors are present your doctor may prescribe medication in addition to lifestyle modifications.
HDL is the good cholesterol. Higher levels of HDL help prevent the development of atherosclerosis and, therefore, coronary heart disease. If you are a man and have HDL levels below 40 mg/dL then you are at higher risk for heart disease. For women the level is 50 mg/dL.
|Below 40 mg/dL||Poor (for men - major risk for heart disease)|
|Below 50 mg/dL||Poor (for women - major risk for heart disease)|
|Above 59 mg/dL||Best|
HDL cholesterol levels can be increased by medications. Lifestyle modifications can also affect HDL levels. For example…
Also, people with high triglycerides usually have lower HDL levels.
Triglyceride levels respond well to certain dietary adjustments. Triglycerides can also be lowered by supplementing with Omega-3.
Of course LDL is the bad cholesterol. LDL levels are considered a better gauge of heart disease risk than total cholesterol. If your LDL is high you are at increased risk for developing heart disease.
|Below 70 mg/dL||Optimal for people at highest risk for heart disease|
|Below 100 mg/dL||Optimal for people at elevated risk for heart disease|
|100-129 mg/dL||Near optimal|
|130-159 mg/dL||Borderline high|
|Above 189 mg/dL||Very high|
Much research has indicated that it isn’t merely the levels of LDL that promote heart disease. Rather it is the oxidation of LDL cholesterol that promotes coronary heart disease. A diet high in antioxidants, therefore, is an important safeguard against atherosclerosis development.
As mentioned, triglyceride levels indicate an independent risk factor for heart disease. That means if your cholesterol levels are normal but your triglycerides are high you are still at higher risk for developing heart disease.
And as also mentioned above, people with high triglycerides also tend to have low HDL levels. This presents a double problem. If your triglycerides are high it is important to get them down.
|Below 150 mg/dL||Desirable|
|150-199 mg/dL||Borderline high|
|Above 499 mg/dL||Very high|
For most people, triglycerides respond well to dietary changes. You can learn more about this in the triglycerides section.
Don't forget your subscription to the...
Optimal Health Newsletter.
Get the latest articles! Keep up to date with the improvements on this website! Learn more about the best nutritional products!
Don't miss out. Use the link below to suscribe now.
Subscribe to the Optimal Health News and get 2 heart health e-books FREE! Click here.
Return from Cholesterol Levels to the Cholesterol main page.
A Challenge For You!
People are making great improvements in their heart health.
How... are they doing it? By challenging themselves to change the way they eat. Really!
I have a challenge for you. It is my double dog dare.