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What Is A Healthy Cholesterol Number

What’s A Good Cholesterol Number

Whats a good number for cholesterol and triglycerides?
  • King’s Daughters Health

Most of the 65 million Americans with high cholesterol dont have any symptoms of it, according to the National Institutes of Health. Thats concerning, because high cholesterol levels can have a devastating effect on your overall health.

The NIH, and most physicians, recommend that adults age 20 and older have their cholesterol levels checked at least once every five years and, if elevated levels are found, more often. The recommended test, called a lipid panel, will provide levels of total cholesterol, HDL , LDL and triglycerides. The test involves a blood draw, which should be performed after a 9- to 12-hour fast.

Establishing goals

Once you have your lipid profile numbers, its time to talk with your healthcare provider about them. The NIH recommends the following :

  • Total Cholesterol Less than 200 mg/dL
  • LDL Cholesterol Less than 100 mg/dL
  • HDL Cholesterol 60 mg/dL and above

The main goal in controlling cholesterol is to lower your LDL levels. Lowering LDL can prevent heart attack and reduce death from heart disease in both men and women. It can slow, stop or even reverse the buildup of plaque in the arteries. Lowering LDL is especially important for those who already have heart disease or have had a heart attack as it has the potential to reduce the risk of another heart attack. If this describes you be sure to speak with your cardiologist about the goal thats best for you.

NEXT WEEK: What you can do to bring down your LDL.

The American Heart Association Recommends

All adults age 20 or older should have their cholesterol checked every four to six years. If certain factors put you at high risk, or if you already have heart disease, your doctor may ask you to check it more often. Work with your doctor to determine your risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke and create a plan to reduce your risk.

What Are Normal Lipid Panel Results

The optimal level for each of the four standard tests in a lipid panel are as follows:

  • Total cholesterol: Below 200 mg/dL.
  • High-density lipoprotein cholesterol: Above 60 mg/dL.
  • Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol: Below 100 mg/dL .
  • Triglycerides: Below 150 mg/dL.

If your results are higher or lower than the target range, they may be classified as borderline-, intermediate-, or high-risk for cardiovascular issues. In general, higher-than-normal levels of total cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides and lower-than-normal levels of HDL can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Its rare to have abnormally low levels of cholesterol. If you do, its usually due to a health condition thats causing malnutrition.

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What Affects My Cholesterol Levels

A variety of things can affect cholesterol levels. These are some things you can do to lower your cholesterol levels:

  • Diet. Saturated fat and cholesterol in the food you eat make your blood cholesterol level rise. Saturated fat is the main problem, but cholesterol in foods also matters. Reducing the amount of saturated fat in your diet helps lower your blood cholesterol level. Foods that have high levels of saturated fats include some meats, dairy products, chocolate, baked goods, and deep-fried and processed foods.
  • Weight. Being overweight is a risk factor for heart disease. It also tends to increase your cholesterol. Losing weight can help lower your LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. It also raises your HDL cholesterol level.
  • Physical Activity. Not being physically active is a risk factor for heart disease. Regular physical activity can help lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol levels. It also helps you lose weight. You should try to be physically active for 30 minutes on most, if not all, days.
  • Smoking.Cigarette smoking lowers your HDL cholesterol. HDL helps to remove bad cholesterol from your arteries. So a lower HDL can contribute to a higher level of bad cholesterol.

Things outside of your control that can also affect cholesterol levels include:

What Runners Should Know About Cholesterol

High Cholesterol &  5 Ways to Lower Your Cholesterol Levels

Cholesterol and some of the health issues associated with it might seem like something you dont need to worry about as a runner. After all, racking up the miles helps fry fat, keep your weight in check, and keep that ticker in tip-top shaperight?

While all thats true, and being a runner can also help you maintain normal cholesterol levels, it doesnt mean that youre totally in the clear. Other factors may put you at risk for your numbers creeping up to an unhealthy level, often gradually over many years, while youre none the wiser.

Heres what everyone should know about cholesterol, how your running routine might affect your levels, and expert tips on how to keep these numbers in the sweet spot.

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Normal Cholesterol Levels By Age

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that plays many roles in the body, including synthesizing hormones and vitamin D. It also assists in the transporting of lipids. Cholesterol is found in the foods you eat, but it is also made by the liver.

We need some cholesterol to build healthy cells, but an accumulation of the bad kind can be problematic, increasing the risk of atherosclerosis. The recommended ranges for your cholesterol will depend on your age. Find out what cholesterol levels are, why age is a factor, and how to keep your levels within a healthy range.

Verywell / Jessica Olah

Cholesterol: The Good And The Bad Of It

HDL High-density lipoprotein

  • Moves cholesterol from arteries to the liver.

LDL Low-density lipoprotein

  • Makes up 60%70% of total cholesterol
  • Main form of bad cholesterol
  • Causes build-up of plaque inside arteries.

VLDL Very-low-density lipoprotein

  • Makes up 10%15% of total cholesterol
  • With LDL, the main form of bad cholesterol
  • A precursor of LDL.

LDL cholesterol. The LDL measurement is usually considered the most important for assessing risk and deciding on treatment. The definition of a healthy level keeps on getting lower. For people at low risk of heart disease, an LDL of less than 100 is desirable, However, people at higher risk of heart disease, an LDL of less than 70 or perhaps even lower is considered optimal. Some experts say that an LDL of less than 70 would be a healthy LDL goal for all of us.

Your LDL is computed by plugging the measurements for total cholesterol, HDL, and triglycerides into a: LDL = Total cholesterol HDL . LDL can also be measured directly in a non-fasting blood sample.

You have to fast for about 10 hours before the test because triglyceride levels can shoot up 20%30% after a meal, which would throw off the equation. Alcohol also causes a triglyceride surge, so you shouldnt drink alcohol for 24 hours before a fasting cholesterol test.

The numbers to know

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What Factors Affect Cholesterol Levels

A variety of factors can affect your cholesterol levels. They include:

  • Diet: Saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol in the food you eat increase cholesterol levels. Try to reduce the amount of saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol in your diet. This will help lower your blood cholesterol level. Saturated and trans fat have the most impact on blood cholesterol.
  • Weight: In addition to being a risk factor for heart disease, being overweight can also increase your triglycerides. Losing weight may help lower your triglyceride levels and raise your HDL.
  • Exercise: Regular exercise can lower total cholesterol levels. Exercise has the most effect on lowering triglycerides and raising HDL. You should try to be physically active for 30 minutes on most days of the week.
  • Age and sex: As we get older, cholesterol levels rise. Before menopause, women tend to have lower total cholesterol levels than men of the same age. After menopause, however, womens LDL levels tend to rise and HDL can drop.
  • Heredity: Your genes partly determine how much cholesterol your body makes. High blood cholesterol can run in families.

Your Test Results: A Preview

Cholesterol Numbers: What They Mean & Why They Matter – Dr. Philip Pippin

Your test results will show your cholesterol levels in milligrams per deciliter of blood . Your total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol are among numerous factors your doctor can use to predict your lifetime or 10-year risk for a heart attack or stroke. Your doctor will also consider other risk factors, such as age, family history, smoking status, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Lipid profile or lipid panel is a blood test that will give you results for your HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and total blood cholesterol.

Watch an animation about cholesterol score.

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About Your Cholesterol Result

A cholesterol test can measure:

  • total cholesterol the overall amount of cholesterol in your blood, including both good and bad cholesterol
  • good cholesterol this makes you less likely to have heart problems or a stroke
  • bad cholesterol this makes you more likely to have heart problems or a stroke
  • triglycerides a fatty substance similar to bad cholesterol

When you get your result, you may just be told your total cholesterol.

You might be able to get separate results for your good and bad cholesterol and triglycerides. Ask your doctor or nurse.

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What Are The Different Types Of Medicines For Cholesterol

There are several types of cholesterol-lowering drugs available, including:

  • Statins, which block the liver from making cholesterol
  • Bile acid sequestrants, which decrease the amount of fat absorbed from food
  • Cholesterol absorption inhibitors, which decrease the amount of cholesterol absorbed from food and lower triglycerides.
  • Nicotinic acid , which lowers LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and raises HDL cholesterol. Even though you can buy niacin without a prescription, you should talk to your health care provider before taking it to lower your cholesterol. High doses of niacin can cause serious side effects.
  • PCSK9 inhibitors, which block a protein called PCSK9. This helps your liver remove and clear LDL cholesterol from your blood.
  • Fibrates, which lower triglycerides. They may also raise HDL cholesterol. If you take them with statins, they may increase the risk of muscle problems.
  • Combination medicines, which include more than one type of cholesterol-lowering medicine

There are also a few other cholesterol medicines that are only for people who have familial hypercholesterolemia . FH is an inherited disorder that causes high LDL cholesterol.

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Who Needs Cholesterol Medicines

  • You have already had a heart attack or stroke, or you have peripheral arterial disease
  • Your LDL cholesterol level is 190 mg/dL or higher
  • You are 40-75 years old, you have diabetes, and your LDL cholesterol level is 70 mg/dL or higher
  • You are 40-75 years old, you have a high risk of developing heart disease or stroke, and your LDL cholesterol level is 70 mg/dL or higher

How Can I Lower My Cholesterol

Heres how to tell what your cholesterol number means ...

There are two main ways to lower your cholesterol:

  • Heart-healthy lifestyle changes, which include:
    • Heart-healthy eating. A heart-healthy eating plan limits the amount of saturated and trans fats that you eat. Examples include the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes diet and the DASH Eating Plan.
    • Weight Management. If you are overweight, losing weight can help lower your LDL cholesterol.
    • Physical Activity. Everyone should get regular physical activity .
    • Managing stress. Research has shown that chronic stress can sometimes raise your LDL cholesterol and lower your HDL cholesterol.
    • Quitting smoking.Quitting smoking can raise your HDL cholesterol. Since HDL helps to remove LDL cholesterol from your arteries, having more HDL can help to lower your LDL cholesterol.
  • Drug Treatment. If lifestyle changes alone do not lower your cholesterol enough, you may also need to take medicines. There are several types of cholesterol medicines available, including statins. The medicines work in different ways and can have different side effects. Talk to your health care provider about which one is right for you. While you are taking medicines to lower your cholesterol, you should continue with the lifestyle changes.

NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

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What Complications Are Possible If You Dont Treat High Cholesterol Levels In Your Blood

The main reason to treat high cholesterol is to prevent or treat coronary heart disease , also called coronary artery disease or CAD. CHD happens when heart is not able to get enough oxygen-rich blood to function well and kills more people in the U.S. than any other cause of death. CHD usually refers to the large arteries, but there is also a condition called coronary microvascular disease that affects the small vessels and causes damage.

What Are Optimal Non

Our recommendations are based on recent research analyzing the non-HDL levels of more than 18,000 heart patients, as well as research on 202 heart patients who lowered their non-HDL levels over the course of one year, states Dr. James Kenney, Nutrition Research Specialist at the Pritikin Longevity Center.

Based on these data, our Pritikin Scientific Advisory Board recommends that non-HDL be no more than 100 for prevention and no more than 80 in those with established coronary artery disease or those at very high risk, such as people with diabetes or with evidence of severely clogged arteries, including those who have had a heart attack or have angina or claudication. Claudication is difficulty/pain in walking due to insufficient blood supply to the legs and feet.

And certainly, any significant improvement in non-HDL likely means significant reductions in heart attack risk.

Consistently, non-HDL levels improve, and rapidly so, among guests at the Pritikin Longevity Center. On average, they fall 24% within three weeks.

Research by scientists at UCLA has also found that two to three weeks at Pritikin leads to dramatic improvements in the quality of HDL particles, transforming them from pro-inflammatory to anti-inflammatory in nature.

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Good Cholesterol Numbershdl Is Your Friend

When you hear someone talking about good cholesterol, they are referring to HDL, or high density lipoprotein. Lipoproteins are simply complexes that carry fat around the body. HDLs job is to go around the body looking for bad cholesterol, or LDL which we will get to shortly. Once it finds LDL, it removes it from the bloodstream and brings it to the liver to be processed.

So HDLs job is to clear out the LDL. So think of HDL as Batman and LDL is the Joker, the Riddler, the Penguin and all of their cronies. Every day your bodys supply of HDL is fighting the LDL in an ongoing battle for cardiovascular health.

So when people talk about good cholesterol numbers, they mean the amount of HDL in your bloodstream. So what is the ideal amount of HDL? Anything over 60 mg/dL is considered good. In general, it should be over 40 for men, and over 50 for women. Anything less than that is considered a risk for heart disease.

Now lets take a look at HDLs arch enemy

The Greatest Cardiologist In The Worldyou

Know Your Numbers: Cholesterol

Cholesterol is created in your body by your liver. Over 60% of the cholesterol in your body is from your liver, which means your body is not creating a toxic substance to kill you. Now, there are some forms of cholesterol that you eat that are more harmful than others. Youve got to identify those, know what a good fat is versus bad fat, and understand some misnomers like Is saturated fat causing cholesterol problems?

But your body is producing cholesterol for a reason. Cholesterol surrounds every cell in your body. If cells are damaged cholesterol is needed to make new ones. Cholesterol is trying to protect you. Cholesterol is made by the liver as a repair substance. A great example is when you get a cut on your arm, the body has to heal so it produces a scab. That healing is made up of cholesterol. All the hormones in your body are made up of cholesterol. Cells in your body have lipid layers of cholesterol around them. Every cell has cholesterol.

If youre damaging and destroying cells, you have to make new ones, which means you need a lot of cholesterol. Sometimes athletes need a lot more cholesterol because of the rate at which they damage cells. Cholesterol is a precursor in your body. Your brain is made up of a lot of cholesterol. So you need healthy cholesterol in your body. Stripping it out of your system and forcing it to decrease is not a good thing.

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Whats A Good Cholesterol Number

  • Kings Daughters Health

Most of the 65 million Americans with high cholesterol dont have any symptoms of it, according to the National Institutes of Health. Thats concerning, because high cholesterol levels can have a devastating effect on your overall health.

The NIH, and most physicians, recommend that adults age 20 and older have their cholesterol levels checked at least once every five years and, if elevated levels are found, more often. The recommended test, called a lipid panel, will provide levels of total cholesterol, HDL , LDL and triglycerides. The test involves a blood draw, which should be performed after a 9- to 12-hour fast.

Establishing goals

Once you have your lipid profile numbers, its time to talk with your healthcare provider about them. The NIH recommends the following :

  • Total Cholesterol Less than 200 mg/dL
  • LDL Cholesterol Less than 100 mg/dL
  • HDL Cholesterol 60 mg/dL and above

The main goal in controlling cholesterol is to lower your LDL levels. Lowering LDL can prevent heart attack and reduce death from heart disease in both men and women. It can slow, stop or even reverse the buildup of plaque in the arteries. Lowering LDL is especially important for those who already have heart disease or have had a heart attack as it has the potential to reduce the risk of another heart attack. If this describes you be sure to speak with your cardiologist about the goal thats best for you.

NEXT WEEK: What you can do to bring down your LDL.

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