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What Should My Total Cholesterol Be

Can You Get Rid Of Cholesterol Deposits

Should I manage my total cholesterol of 305 just for my doctor?

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.

What Is Gender Expression

We all have something known as a gender expression. Many people associate women with having a feminine gender expression and men with having a masculine gender expression.

But as with gender identity, gender expression is a spectrum. Femininity and masculinity may be the bookmarks, but there are countless points in between and theyre open to anyone.

In Western cultures, stereotypically feminine traits include nurturing or caring for others, emotional vulnerability, and an overall docile demeanor.

Stereotypically masculine traits include the need to act as a protector, engaging in competitive or aggressive behavior, and a high libido.

Most of us possess both masculine and feminine traits. This means that someone who considers themself to have a fairly normative gender identity can still fall closer towards the middle in terms of gender expression.

For example, a cisgender woman can have a more masculine gender expression but still identify as a woman.

Sexual orientation has very little to do with your gender identity. Its solely about who youre attracted to.

People of all gender identities may identify as straight or as somewhere on the LGBQ+ spectrum.

Cholesterol Levels For Men And Women

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 don’t recommend getting a cholesterol test during pregnancy because your results won’t 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 don’t need to worry unnecessarily. Find out more about pregnancy and blood fats.

Cholesterol levels rise during the menopause

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

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How Often To Get Tested

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.

Why Do I Need A Cholesterol Test

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You will get a free NHS cholesterol test if you have a number of risk factors for high cholesterol including if youre over 40, have coronary heart disease or diabetes, have had a stroke or mini stroke, or have a family history of cardiovascular disease or a cholesterol-related condition.

Understanding your cholesterol levels

We hear a lot about the dangers of high cholesterol, but unless you have a blood test, you have â¦

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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.

Dietary Tips To Avoid Cholesterol

The most important thing you can do to reduce your cholesterol level is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. You should try to:

  • Increase the amount and variety of fresh fruit, vegetables and wholegrain foods you have each day.
  • Choose low or reduced-fat milk, yoghurt and other dairy products or have added calcium soy drinks.
  • Choose lean meat .
  • Limit fatty meats, including sausages and salami, and choose leaner sandwich meats like turkey breast or cooked lean chicken.
  • Have fish at least twice a week.
  • Replace butter and dairy blends with polyunsaturated margarines.
  • Include foods in your diet that are rich in soluble fibre and healthy fats, such as nuts, legumes and seeds.
  • Limit cheese and ice cream to twice a week.

Other storage fats that are transported in blood lipoproteins include triglycerides. When present in high concentrations in the blood, this fat is also a risk for heart attack. Some foods will affect the cholesterol level or the triglyceride level and some will affect both.

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Are High Cholesterol Levels Dangerous

A high cholesterol level can be a risk factor for heart attack and stroke. These devastating events happen when a cholesterol plaque ruptures. This causes blood to suddenly clot and block an artery in the heart or brain.

Blockages that prevent sufficient blood flow in the coronary arteries can lead to a form of chest pain called angina. Angina is a common symptom of coronary artery disease. Symptoms usually occur with exertion and go away with rest.

What Are Normal Levels Of Cholesterol

What should my cholesterol level be?

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

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What Is The Difference Between Good Cholesterol And Bad Cholesterol

Good cholesterol is known as high-density lipoprotein . It removes cholesterol from the bloodstream. Low-density lipoprotein is the bad cholesterol.

If your total cholesterol level is high because of a high LDL level, you may be at higher risk of heart disease or stroke. But, if your total cholesterol level is high only because of a high HDL level, youre probably not at higher risk.

Triglycerides are another type of fat in your blood. When you eat more calories than your body can use, it turns the extra calories into triglycerides.

Changing your lifestyle can improve your cholesterol levels, lower LDL and triglycerides, and raise HDL.

Your ideal cholesterol level will depend on your risk for heart disease.

  • Total cholesterol level less than 200 is best, but it depends on your HDL and LDL levels.
  • LDL cholesterol levels less than 130 is best, but this depends on your risk for heart disease.
  • HDL cholesterol levels 60 or higher reduces your risk for heart disease.
  • Triglycerides less than 150 milligrams per deciliter is best.

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

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

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Cholesterol: The Good And The Bad Of It

HDL High-density lipoprotein

  • Makes up 20%30% of total cholesterol
  • The “good” cholesterol
  • 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 shouldn’t drink alcohol for 24 hours before a fasting cholesterol test.

The numbers to know

Can Bad Cholesterol Levels Be Too Low Can Good Cholesterol Levels Be Too High

Normal Ldl Cholesterol Levels Uk

It isnt often that people have bad cholesterol that is too low or good cholesterol that is too high. There are studies being done that suggest that extremes of any kind are not healthy for everyone.

Even though there is no clear-cut number about what LDL level is too low, levels under 40 mg/dL may be associated with certain health issues, including depression/anxiety, and hemorrhagic stroke.

However, there is data from clinical trials to support that there is no evidence of harm when LDLs remain < 40mg/dl on statin therapy.

In some cases, genetic conditions can cause you to have very low cholesterol levels. In other cases, nutritional problems, some cancers, hypothyroidism and certain infections can also cause low cholesterol levels. In any of these types of situations, the underlying issues need to be addressed.

In terms of having too much of a good thing, researchers are studying the effects of too much HDL, the good cholesterol. No conclusions have been reached, but there have been studies into the possible relationship between high HDL and cancer, and a greater risk of heart attack among the high risk. Excessively high HDL may be dysfunctional HDL and not protective.

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Ldl Cholesterol: ‘bad’ Cholesterol

Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, often referred to as “bad” cholesterol, is the type that tends to deposit on the walls of the arteries. White blood cells combine with the LDL cholesterol, forming artery-narrowing plaque, which restricts blood flow. The optimal level of LDL cholesterol for most people is 100 mg/dL or lower. If you have heart disease, you may need to strive for LDL levels of 70 mg/dL or lower.

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.

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When Should My Cholesterol Levels Be Tested

Your GP may recommend that you have your blood cholesterol levels tested if you:

  • have been diagnosed with coronary heart disease, stroke or mini stroke , or peripheral arterial disease
  • have a family history of early cardiovascular disease
  • have a close family member who has a cholesterol-related condition
  • are overweight

Can High Cholesterol Be Prevented Or Avoided

My Cholesterol Is High What Should I Do About It?

Making healthy food choices and exercising are two ways to reduce your risk of developing high cholesterol.

Eat fewer foods with saturated fats . Choose healthier fats. This includes lean meats, avocados, nuts, and low-fat dairy items. Avoid foods that contain trans fat . Look for foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These foods include salmon, herring, walnuts, and almonds. Some egg brands contain omega-3.

Exercise can be simple. Go for a walk. Take a yoga class. Ride your bike to work. You could even participate in a team sport. Aim to get 30 minutes of activity every day.

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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!

There Are Two Main Types Of Cholesterol

The two main lipoproteins responsible for transporting cholesterol are low-density lipoprotein and high-density lipoprotein .

LDL cholesterol is whats known as bad cholesterol. Too much LDL cholesterol leads to fatty buildups that clog arteries atherosclerosis. Narrows arteries make it difficult for blood to travel through the body, and it makes your heart work harder to pump blood. Excess LDL cholesterol increases your risk for heart disease, heart attack, stroke, peripheral artery disease.

In general, you want lower levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

HDL cholesterol is commonly referred to as good cholesterol. Research shows a correlation between higher HDL levels and a lower risk for heart disease. High-density lipoproteins help carry LDL cholesterol through the blood and back to the liver. The liver then breaks down LDL cholesterol, allowing the body to remove it as waste.

In general, you want higher levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

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Why Is Cholesterol Important To Our Bodies

Every cell in the body needs cholesterol, which helps the cell membranes form the layers. These layers protect the contents of the cell by acting as the gatekeeper to what things can enter or leave the cell. It is made by the liver and is also used by the liver to make bile, which helps you digest foods. Cholesterol is also needed to make certain hormones and to produce vitamin D. Your liver makes enough cholesterol to meet your bodys needs for these important functions.

Your Test Results: A Preview

What Everybody Ought to Know About Cholesterol ...

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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