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What Should Cholesterol Numbers Be

How Do Triglyceride Levels Compare With Cholesterol Levels

Healthy Cholesterol: What Should Your Levels Be?

If you have high triglycerides, you are more likely to also have high total cholesterol and high bad cholesterol levels. Many people with high triglycerides also have low good cholesterol levels.

Both triglycerides and cholesterol are measured in mg/dL. However, the guidelines differ for what normal levels are for each of them.

What Types Of Cholesterol Are There

There are two different types of cholesterol including:

  • “Bad Cholesterol” which carry cholesterol particles throughout your body. LDL cholesterol is bad because it builds up in the walls of your arteries, making them hard and narrow which can increase the risk of a heart attack.
  • “Good Cholesterol” which picks up excess cholesterol and takes it back to the liver. Having high HDL is linked to lower risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.

How Do You Prepare For A Cholesterol Test

In most cases, youll need to fast for nine to 12 hours before the test. Make sure you tell the person drawing your blood how long it has been since you ate or drank anything that wasnt water.

There are some cases when a cholesterol test is done without fasting. This is true for tests done at health screenings and may be true for people younger than 20 or for people who are unable to fast.

Some medical societies believe that fasting is not necessary to get a true picture of lipid levels in the blood, while other associations stand by the belief that fasting gives a better idea of a persons heart disease risk. You should be clear on whether or not you need to fast, and for how long, before you go for the blood test.

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What Is The Difference Between Mmol/l And Mg/dl

In the United States your blood cholesterol level is measured in mg/dl or milligrams per decilitre but in the United Kingdom and Europe blood cholesterol level is measured in mmol/I or mill moles per litreHow do you convert your blood cholesterol levels mmol/l to mg/dl?Use this formula, mg/dl Cholesterol=38.6xmmol/lmmol Cholesterol ÷ 38.6 mg/dl

How Often Should I Get A Cholesterol Test

High Cholesterol &  5 Ways to Lower Your Cholesterol Levels

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

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Cholesterol Levels And Age

Cholesterol levels tend to rise as people become older. Doctors advise taking precautions early in childhood to avoid dangerously high cholesterol levels later in life. It might be more difficult to treat years of uncontrolled cholesterol. Children are the least likely to have high cholesterol levels and only need to get their levels tested once or twice before the age of 18. However, if a kid has risk factors for high cholesterol levels, he or she should be checked on a regular basis.

Men often have greater cholesterol levels throughout their lives than women. In general, a manâs cholesterol levels rise with age. Women, on the other hand, are not immune to high cholesterol. When a woman enters menopause, her cholesterol level frequently climbs.

Understanding What Your Cholesterol Levels Mean

Medical professionals typically perform cholesterol levels testing among the battery of medical check-ups. They do so because high cholesterol or hypercholesterolemia is a popular medical condition that may considerably have an impact on your heart and overall health. To evaluate your blood cholesterol levels, your physician is going to perform a blood test known as a lipid panel, as well as a lipid profile. It is recommended to not eat or drink anything, apart from water, for approximately 9 hours before the exam to ensure correct evaluation results., while recent studies suggest that it is not necessary. With this guide, you will understand what your results mean. You will know about the total cholesterol, the HDL, the LDL, the triglycerides and even a less popular lipoprotein such as the VLDL. Keep reading!

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Why Do My Cholesterol Numbers Matter

High cholesterol is an early warning sign of cardiovascular disease. Like hypertension, another warning sign, high cholesterol doesnt cause noticeable symptoms. Often, people dont know they have high cholesterol until they have a serious cardiac event like a heart attack.

Everyone over the age of 20 should have their cholesterol levels tested at least every five years. A cholesterol test is called a lipid panel and is available during standard blood tests performed during your adult wellness exam.

Keeping an eye on your cholesterol levels, as well as your blood pressure, blood sugar, and other factors, helps you monitor your health. Here at Advance Medical Group, with offices in Hackensack, Paramus, and Haledon, New Jersey, we offer customized wellness plans to regulate your cholesterol and other risk factors to optimize your health.

What Is A Healthy Cholesterol Level

What should my cholesterol level be?

This table is a general guide for ideal cholesterol and triglyceride levels for healthy adults in the UK. If you have a condition such as heart disease or diabetes, your target levels may be lower your doctor will be able to tell you your individual targets.

Above 6 is considered high risk – the lower this figure is the better Above 6 is considered high risk – the lower this figure is the better

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How To Lower Cholesterol: Smart Protein

To reduce cholesterol, limit red meat and eat more fish and lean poultry.

How to Prepare Healthy Proteins

  • Trim all fat from meats, and remove all skin from poultry before cooking.
  • Broil or bake, don’t fry foods.
  • Drain fat from any meats before serving.
  • Avoid processed meats such as hot dogs or cold cuts, even those labeled “reduced fat,” as many are still high in saturated fats and calories.
  • Oily fish such as salmon or trout are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce triglyceride levels and improve HDL cholesterol levels.
  • Soy proteins can also have a beneficial effect and help to reduce LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, while raising HDL cholesterol levels.

What Is A Healthy Normal Cholesterol Level In The Uk

Your cholesterol level is measured in units called millimoles per litre of blood, often shortened to mmol/L.

It is recommended that healthy adults should have a total cholesterol level below 5 mmol/L. In the UK, three out of five adults have a total cholesterol level of 5 mmol/L or above, and the average cholesterol level is about 5.7 mmol/L, which can be a risk factor in the development of coronary heart disease.

However, its important to remember that as well as your cholesterol level, other factors such as smoking and high blood pressure are risk factors for the development of coronary heart disease.

The total cholesterol level includes LDL and HDL . The risk of coronary heart disease is particularly high if you have a high level of LDL cholesterol and a low level of HDL cholesterol. Individual levels of LDL and HDL cholesterol will vary and your doctor will be able to give you specific advice based on your own results.

In the UK, components of cholesterol are measured in units called millimoles per litre of blood . As a guide, these are the values healthy adults should aim for

Total cholesterol

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What Are The Normal Cholesterol Levels For Men And Women

A cholesterol test generally determines 4 distinct numbers: Total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and triglycerides. Cholesterol being fat, it is not soluble in water. So it cannot circulate freely in the blood. But, the fact is that nature has devised a way to make water-soluble cholesterol, and transport it through the blood. This is by lipoproteins. The LDL or Low-density lipoprotein and the HDL or high-density lipoprotein are the 2 fundamental cholesterol carriers but to make things simpler, they are considered as cholesterol types. In addition, the lipid panel appraises the triglycerides . They have an impact on health in the same manners as cholesterol. At last, the total cholesterol is integrated as well in the results. Apart from these 4 general lipid levels, your doctor may want to access your very low-density lipoprotein or VLDL that is considered bad when high.

How Often To Get Tested

8 Ways to Reduce Bad Cholesterol without Medication

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , most healthy adults should get their cholesterol checked every four to six years.

Your risk factors also determine how often your cholesterol should be checked. Adults who have a history of high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, or obesity need more frequent readings, as do all adults as they age.

Children should have their cholesterol checked at least once between the ages of 9 and 11 and again between 17 and 20 years of age. If a child has a family history of high cholesterol, heart disease, or is overweight or obese, their pediatrician may recommend getting checked sooner and more often.

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What Affects Cholesterol Levels

There are a variety of factors that can affect cholesterol levels. Some risk factors are within your control, while others are not:

  • Genetics: These factors include familial hypercholesterolemia and a family history of heart disease.
  • Sex: Males often have higher levels of LDL. After menopause, a woman’s LDL levels can also increase.
  • Weight: People who are overweight or obese are at increased risk of having high cholesterol.
  • Sedentary lifestyle: Lack of physical activity can increase the risk of overweight and obesity and, in turn, increase cholesterol levels.
  • Diet: Overall diet quality can affect cholesterol in a negative way, including eating too many saturated and trans fats and not enough fiber.
  • Age: Your body’s ability to clear cholesterol can be impacted as you age.
  • Race and ethnicity: There are different rates of high cholesterol based on race/ethnicity and sex, with the highest rates among males in Hispanics and the highest rates among females in non-Hispanic Whites.
  • Smoking: Smoking can increase your bad cholesterol and lower your good cholesterol.
  • Other medical conditions: Having a previous history of high cholesterol, heart disease, or diabetes can increase your risk of developing high cholesterol.

What Are The Types Of Cholesterol

Cholesterol moves throughout the body carried by lipoproteins in the blood. These lipoproteins include:

  • Low-density lipoprotein is one of the two main lipoproteins. LDL is often called the bad cholesterol.
  • High-density lipoprotein is the other main lipoprotein. HDL is often called the good cholesterol.
  • Very-low-density lipoproteins are particles in the blood that carry triglycerides.

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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 Levels For Adults

Cholesterol Numbers – Mayo Clinic
  • Total cholesterol levels less than 200 milligrams per deciliter are considered desirable for adults. A reading between 200 and 239 mg/dL is considered borderline high and a reading of 240 mg/dL and above is considered high.
  • LDL cholesterol levels should be less than 100 mg/dL. Levels of 100 to 129 mg/dL are acceptable for people with no health issues but may be of more concern for those with heart disease or heart disease risk factors. A reading of 130 to 159 mg/dL is borderline high and 160 to 189 mg/dL is high. A reading of 190 mg/dL or higher is considered very high.
  • HDL levels should be kept higher. A reading of less than 40 mg/dL is considered a major risk factor for heart disease. A reading from 41 mg/dL to 59 mg/dL is considered borderline low. The optimal reading for HDL levels is of 60 mg/dL or higher.

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How To Lower Your Cholesterol

If youve been told that you have high cholesterol or you just want to prevent it what can you do?

There are several ways to manage it, including:

Medication: Depending on your overall cardiovascular disease risk, you might be treated with a cholesterol-lowering medication, such as a statin. The decision to use a statin is based on a womans overall risk for heart attack and stroke including all these factors and the LDL cholesterol value.

If you already have vascular disease or evidence of atherosclerosis, or if you are at high risk for cardiovascular disease, a statin for prevention is strongly recommended because this treats the plaque in the arteries, and lowers LDL cholesterol, Michos says.

Diet and lifestyle:Diet and lifestyle are very important to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Even for women who are recommended to take cholesterol-lowering medications, a healthy lifestyle helps these drugs work better, says Michos.

Heres how to maintain a lifestyle that promotes healthy cholesterol levels:

Add these to your shopping list:

  • Fatty fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines and albacore tuna
  • Nuts, including walnuts, pecans, almonds and hazelnuts
  • Olive oil to drizzle lightly over your salads and vegetables

While nobody wants to have high cholesterol, there are plenty of ways to keep it in check. With regular checkups and attention to what you eat, its possible to manage your cholesterol and blood fats to keep your heart healthy, says Michos.

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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You Dont Need To Avoid Eggs And Seafood

Some foods are high in cholesterol but are fine to eat in moderation, as long as your overall diet is low in saturated fats. For example:

  • Egg yolks a single egg yolk contains 200250 mg of cholesterol, which is almost the uppermost recommended daily intake . However, reducing egg intake is probably not important for healthy people with normal blood cholesterol levels.
  • Seafood prawns and seafood contain some cholesterol, but they are low in saturated fat and also contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Seafood is a healthy food and should not be avoided just because it contains cholesterol. However, avoid fried and battered seafood.

Can You Get Rid Of Cholesterol Deposits

High Cholesterol

Researchers are working on ways to eliminate plaque from coronary arteries. One method that has been proposed involves using combinations of medicines in healthy people aged 25 to 55 years. It is suggested that getting the levels of cholesterol down very low will allow arteries to clear up and heal up.

Several researchers believe that the way to reverse heart disease and prevent it in the first place is found in a whole-food, plant-based diet. Studies have been done that have shown that limiting nutrition to whole foods that are plant-based have been successful in reducing blood cholesterol and even, in some cases, lessening plaque buildup.

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Cholesterol Numberswhats The Bottom Line

The takeaways here is that the amounts of HDL and LDL are more important than your total cholesterol levels. Just because your total numbers are above the ideal 200 mark doesnt mean you are at a higher risk for heart disease. If your HDL levels are optimal and your triglycerides, homocysteine and CRP levels are low then having higher than ideal LDL is not a big problem.

You have to look at the whole picture and not just one magic number. The ratio of LDL to HDL and total cholesterol to HDL is a much more telling figure than the total amount.

Normal Levels Of Cholesterol In Women

The amount of cholesterol is measured in mmol per liter or mg/DL. The average rate of women in mmol per liter and 5.2, and the rate of 6.2 corresponds to the permitted maximum. During the life of a normal cholesterol level in women is increasing. Normal high levels of cholesterol are also observed in pregnant women. Valid if by the end of the period of gestation the levels of cholesterol in the blood of the mother grows by almost 2 times.

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Are Cholesterol Test Kits Reliable

The FDA does regulate some cholesterol tests, but not all. Reliability of kits can vary, and your results may not always be accurate. However, if you feel at-home cholesterol testing is preferable, ask your doctor to recommend a reliable kit. FDA approved home tests kits meet standards for accuracy.

Many test kits only provide total cholesterol levels, or information about HDL or triglycerides. Your LDL is not directly measured but can be calculated. You cant use cholesterol home tests to evaluate your overall heart risk yourself, as many risk factors â such as age, weight, gender, family history, and lifestyle â are used in this determination and should be performed by a doctor.

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