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What Is A Good Cholesterol Level In Australia

Hdl Cholesterol Level Chart

What is a Healthy Cholesterol Level?

First Id like to start with your HDL, which is short for high-density lipoprotein.

Your HDL is considered the good cholesterol because it can help in the walls of your arteries, which causes narrowing of their openings.

HDL Cholesterol Level
A major risk factor for heart disease
40 59 mg/dL
Considered protective against heart disease

Generally speaking, the higher your HDL, the better.

For example, after giving my mom some specific herbs that Ill tell you about in a minute, I was able to raise her good HDL from 52 mg/dL to 94 mg/dL

Her cardiologist and I are very happy because sometimes my moms TOTAL cholesterol goes in the borderline high range .

However, were okay with that because her good HDL is so high and thus, very protective.

What Are The Symptoms Of High Cholesterol

Lifestyle factors include:

  • an unhealthy diet eating too much saturated fat is thought to increase levels of LDL or bad cholesterol
  • lack of exercise this can also increase your levels of LDL
  • obesity being overweight often means you also have higher levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and a lower level of the good HDL.
  • drinking too much alcohol
  • smoking if you smoke, a chemical in cigarettes called acrolein stops the good HDL from moving fatty deposits to your liver

Underlying conditions

  • transient ischaemic attack or a mini stroke
  • peripheral arterial disease

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Eat Lots Of Fresh Vegetables

Fruits are a great way to add some sweetness and spices into your diet without any of the guilt! Filled with fibre, they can help lower cholesterol levels. Studies show that when you eat soluble fibres like those found in many fruits such as oranges or apples, it stops bile acids from getting absorbed by cells in our body, so were less likely to absorb them ourselves. This reduces bad LDL cholesterol while increasing good HDLs, which leads us towards better heart health.

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How Cholesterol Levels Are Measured

You may not feel any symptoms of high cholesterol until you develop more serious health problems. This is why it is important to have your cholesterol levels measured on a regular basis.

A blood test called a lipid or lipoprotein panel will show your cholesterol levels and help your healthcare provider decide if you need treatment.

The blood test measures:

  • Total cholesterol:The total amount of cholesterol in your blood, including HDL and LDL
  • High-density lipoprotein, or HDL: It is called “good” cholesterol and is capable of removing cholesterol from your body by moving it to the liver.
  • Low-density lipoprotein, or LDL: It is called “bad” cholesterol and can cause plaque buildup.
  • Non-HDL cholesterol: It is found by subtracting HDL from total cholesterol. It includes LDL and VLDL .
  • Triglycerides: A type of fat that can also increase the risk of cardiovascular disease

Cholesterol Levels For Men And Women

What Is Total Cholesterol and What Does It Mean?

HDL levels differ for men and women

Women naturally have higher HDL cholesterol levels than men due to differences in the genes. Women should aim for an HDL cholesterol level above 1.2mmol/L while men should aim for above 1mmol/L.

Cholesterol levels can rise during pregnancy

During pregnancy, both cholesterol and triglyceride levels can significantly rise. We dont recommend getting a cholesterol test during pregnancy because your results wont be accurate. Our advice is to wait until at least 6-8 weeks after your baby is born or after you stop breastfeeding to get a cholesterol test. This means you dont need to worry unnecessarily.

Cholesterol levels rise during the menopause

Women may also find their cholesterol levels rise during the menopause.

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Understanding The Highs And Lows Of Cholesterol

You know that too much is dangerous. But what is cholesterol, anyway? Where does it come from? And is it all bad?

Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is found in every cell in the body. Its either made by the body or absorbed from food. Your body needs cholesterol to make important steroid hormones such as estrogen, progesterone and vitamin D. Its also used to make bile acids in the liver these absorb fat during digestion.

So some cholesterol is necessary but bad cholesterol is something you can do without. Excess bad cholesterol in the bloodstream can deposit into the bodys arteries. These deposits are called plaques and result in atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. This is the major cause of heart attacks, strokes and other vascular problems.

Your total cholesterol level is a measure of the total amount of cholesterol circulating in your bloodstream, which includes several components:

  • LDL cholesterol: LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein. This is known as the bad cholesterol, which directly contributes to plaque buildup in the arteries. Very low density lipoprotein, or VLDL cholesterol, is another type, which is a precursor to LDL.
  • Total cholesterol is VLDL cholesterol plus LDL cholesterol plus HDL cholesterol.
  • HDL cholesterol: HDL stands for high-density lipoprotein. Experts think at optimal levels it might help the body get rid of LDL cholesterol.

And guess what? This buildup can start as early as your 20s.

The Normal Cholesterol Range In Australia

A cholesterol test generally measures how much there has been and what kind, which helps determine someones risk for atherosclerosis or a narrowed artery wall leading to heart disease. Cholesterols are measured through blood tests such as lipid panels. There may be other components included in these types too, such as HDL-chloride levels, total cholesterol level, and triglycerides count.

The amount of cholesterol you have can be different from person to person, which means that what counts as high may vary too. This also applies to most other health markers like blood pressure or weight it all depends on where someone ranks compared to their peers. In Australia, normal cholesterol ranges are as follow:

  • Total Cholesterol:
  • Low Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol :
  • < 1.8mmol/L
  • < 2.0 mmol/L
  • High Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol > 1.0mmol/L
  • Triglycerides : < 2.0 mmol/L
  • Read Also: What Are Some Examples Of Foods That Contain Cholesterol

    What Are The Risks Linked To High Cholesterol

    Too much LDL cholesterol in the blood can increase your risk of heart and blood vessel disease .

    The excess LDL cholesterol leads to fatty deposits called plaque forming in the artery walls. Over time, the plaque causes narrowing and hardening of the arteries .

    This can lead to:

    • Angina when plaque builds up in the major arteries that supply your heart, known as the coronary arteries, they become narrower and are partially blocked, reducing blood flow and oxygen supply to the heart. This may cause shortness of breath and chest pain.
    • Heart attack if a plaque in a coronary artery bursts , a clot may form and block the supply of blood to the heart, starving it of oxygen.
    • Stroke if the blood vessels that supply the brain become narrower or blocked by plaque, blood supply to the brain can be severely reduced or cut off, causing a stroke. Strokes can also be caused when a clot from another part of the body travels through the blood and lodges in an artery in the brain.
    • Peripheral vascular disease this usually affects the arteries that supply the legs and feet, causing leg pain when walking , and even pain when resting, when the circulation is more badly affected

    A high level of HDL cholesterol is good because HDL cholesterol helps remove other forms of cholesterol from the blood, taking them back to the liver where they’re removed from the blood and passed out of the body.

    Make Exercise A Part Of Your Lifestyle

    8 Tips to Lower your cholesterol

    Exercise has innumerable benefits. Not only does it improve your muscle strength, but it also increases your HDL levels and lowers LDL levels.

    You should exercise for roughly 90 minutes every week. If you have not exercised for a long time, start slowly. Walk for 10 minutes every day. Choose exercises that you like. Increase your pace gradually without putting an extra burden on yourself.

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    Getting Help For Your Child

    If you are worried about your child’s weight, consider consulting with a registered dietitian or expressing your concerns with your pediatrician.

    Children can benefit from getting involved in meal planning, shopping, and cooking, reducing intake of sweetened beverages, and learning how to eat more fruits and vegetables. Being a good role model and getting the entire family on board is also important for making changes and providing your child with confidence.

    What Are Normal Levels Of Cholesterol

    Normal levels of cholesterol are different depending on your age and sex. These guidelines show desirable total, non-HDL, LDL and HDL levels by age and sex.

    Table 1: Target cholesterol levels by age and sex

    Age and sex

    cholesterol

    cholesterol

    People aged 19 years and younger Men aged 20 years and olderWomen aged 20 years and older

    The table above spells out the numbers for normal cholesterol levels. The table below shows cholesterol levels that are higher than normal. High cholesterol numbers vary by age group and sex and may be different for those who have heart disease. These guidelines represent high cholesterol numbers for those who do not have heart disease.

    Table 2: High total, non-HDL and LDL cholesterol levels by age and sex

    Age and sex
    People aged 19 years and younger

    Borderline: 170-199 mg/dL

    High: Greater than or equal to 200 mg/dL

    Borderline: 120-144 mg/dL

    High: Greater than or equal to 145 mg/dL

    Borderline: 110-129 mg/dL

    High: Greater than or equal to 130 mg/dL

    High: Greater than or equal to 239 mg/dL

    Near optimal or above optimal: 100-129 mg/dL

    Borderline high: 130-159 mg/dL

    Very high: Greater than 189 mg/dL

    High: Greater than or equal to 239 mg/dL

    Near optimal or above optimal: 100-129 mg/dL

    Borderline high: 130-159 mg/dL

    Very high: Greater than 189 mg/dL

    LDL cholesterol levels

    If you do not have heart disease or blood vessel disease, and you are not at high risk for developing heart disease, the optimal number is less than 100 mg/dL.

    Triglycerides

    Recommended Reading: What Is A Healthy Diet To Reduce Cholesterol

    How Often Should I Get A Cholesterol Test

    When and how often you should get a cholesterol test depends on your age, risk factors, and family history. The general recommendations are:

    For people who are age 19 or younger::

    • The first test should be between ages 9 to 11
    • Children should have the test again every 5 years
    • Some children may have this test starting at age 2 if there is a family history of high blood cholesterol, heart attack, or stroke

    For people who are age 20 or older::

    • Younger adults should have the test every 5 years
    • Men ages 45 to 65 and women ages 55 to 65 should have it every 1 to 2 years

    How Can You Prevent High Cholesterol Levels And Coronary Heart Disease

    Reducing Cholesterol Levels

    Prevention methods are very much the same as treatment methods. First, dont smoke. If you do smoke, make plans to quit now. Find ways to add physical activity to each of your days. Take steps to keep your weight in a healthy range. Eat well. Consider following the Mediterranean diet. It is the only diet proven to reduce the risk of heart disease. Take care of any other medical conditions you might have by following your healthcare providers advice and instructions. Learn to really relax and calm down.

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    Is Dietary Cholesterol Harmful

    Research shows that dietary cholesterol doesnt significantly affect cholesterol levels in your body, and data from population studies doesnt support an association between dietary cholesterol and heart disease in the general population .

    Though dietary cholesterol may slightly affect cholesterol levels, this isnt an issue for most people.

    In fact, two-thirds of the worlds population experience little or no increase in cholesterol levels after eating cholesterol-rich foods even in large amounts .

    A small number of people are considered cholesterol non-compensators or hyper-responders and appear to be more vulnerable to high cholesterol foods. However, hyper-responders are thought to recycle extra cholesterol back to their liver for excretion .

    Dietary cholesterol has also been shown to beneficially affect the LDL-to-HDL ratio, which is considered the best indicator of heart disease risk .

    While research shows that its unnecessary for most people to avoid dietary cholesterol, keep in mind that not all cholesterol-containing foods are healthy.

    Treatments For High Cholesterol Levels

    If your doctor determines that your cholesterol levels are borderline or too high, they may start you on a management plan to lower your levels. Ways to manage your cholesterol levels include:

    Medication

    Your doctor may prescribe cholesterol-lowering medication, like statins, if you are at an increased heart disease risk. Statins are used as a preventive measure because they treat plaque buildup in your arteries.

    Diet and lifestyle

    According to Erin Michos, M.D., quoted in Johns Hopkins Medicine, diet and lifestyle are very important to maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. Reducing the amount of saturated fats you eat and exercising for at least 30 minutes a day for five days a week can help you lose weight and reduce your cholesterol levels.

    Limit smoking and alcohol intake

    If you smoke and your cholesterol levels are high, you are at greater risk for artery buildup which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. If you are able to, you should consider a plan to give up smoking. Limiting your alcohol consumption can also help lower your triglycerides and total cholesterol levels.

    Read Also: How To Cure High Cholesterol Home Remedies

    Effects Of High Cholesterol Levels

    The liver is the main processing centre for cholesterol and dietary fat. When we eat animal fats, the liver transports the fat, together with cholesterol in the form of lipoproteins, into our bloodstream.

    Too much cholesterol circulating within LDL in our bloodstream leads to fatty deposits developing in the arteries. This causes the vessels to narrow and they can eventually become blocked. This can lead to heart disease and stroke.

    Get To Know Your Good And Bad Cholesterols

    Cholesterol and Heart Disease | Heart Foundation

    When people speak about blood cholesterol you may hear people use the terms LDL and HDL cholesterols. If you get your cholesterol checked through a blood test, your doctor will talk about these two terms, so its good to know what they mean.

    Cholesterol cant travel through the body by itself. Instead, it hitches a ride with a compound of fat and protein called Lipoprotein . LDL and HDL are types of Lipoprotein.

    LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein, but you can simply remember this as the bad cholesterol. This is because too much LDL cholesterol can stick to blood vessels, and as mentioned above, build up on the walls of your arteries, making it harder for blood to travel through your body or even stopping it completely.

    Because of this, you want to keep your LDL levels low. HDL, on the other hand, is your friend. It stands for high-density lipoprotein and is the good cholesterol your body needs. HDL cholesterol keeps your cardiovascular system healthy and helps remove bad cholesterol from the blood vessels by carrying it to the liver, where its then broken down and removed from the body.

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    How Is The Total Cholesterol Or Blood Cholesterol Test Done

    A blood test is a routine test. A phlebotomist is a person whose job is to draw blood. Blood is usually drawn from the vein in your arm. You will sit down and the phlebotomist will wrap a rubber band around your upper arm so that the vein in your elbow sticks out. Then they will use a needle to puncture the vein and remove blood. The blood is sent to the lab to be examined.

    Youve probably been at health fairs where testing is offered. In that case, the person performing the test takes a drop of blood from your finger. The finger-stick test uses a small blade to poke a hole in the tip of your finger to get the blood.

    How Often Should I Get My Cholesterol Levels Checked

    The frequency of getting your cholesterol levels tested depends on your age, presence of risk factors, and family history like a history of heart diseases, stroke, diabetes, or high cholesterol.

    The following provides general recommendations for various age groups.

    People who are 19 years of age or younger should:

    • Get the first test done between ages 9 to 11 years
    • Repeat the test every 5 years
    • For children, who have a family history of high blood cholesterol, heart attack, or stroke, the testing may start at 2 years of age

    People who are age 20 years or older:

    • Those between the age of 20 to 44 years should get tested every 5 years
    • Women in the age group 45 to 54 years should get tested every 5 years
    • Men in the age group 45 to 65 years should get their cholesterol levels checked every 1-2 years
    • Women in the age group 55 to 65 years should get tested every 1-2 years

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    Cholesterol Levels In Adults

    Cholesterol levels are measured in milligrams per deciliter . When you get the results of your test, you will see this measurement. You want to pay attention to the following guidelines for healthy cholesterol levels and talk to your healthcare provider if you have questions.

    Healthy cholesterol levels for men who are 20 years old and older:

    • Total cholesterol: 125 mg/dL to 200 mg/dL
    • Triglycerides: less than 150 mg/dL
    • HDL: 40 mg/dL or higher
    • LDL: less than 100 mg/dL
    • Non-HDL: less than 130 mg/dL

    Healthy cholesterol levels for women who are 20 years old and older:

    • Total cholesterol: 125 mg/dL to 200 mg/dL
    • Triglycerides: less than 150 mg/dL
    • HDL: 50 mg/dL or higher
    • LDL: less than 100 mg/dL
    • Non-HDL: less than 130 mg/dL

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