Cholesterol is seen as the big bad Boogeyman, but this isn’t actually true. Cholesterol is a natural substance that is found in all the membranes and cell walls of a human body. It is also essential for the production of various hormones, bile acids, vitamin D, and more. In fact, it is a fat that is absolutely essential to the digestion of other fats! The problem is that if there is too much cholesterol in your body, then your arteries can start to narrow, constricting blood flow and leading to peripheral artery disease, strokes, and heart attacks.
HDL Cholesterol Chart – Understanding The Numbers:
When you are provided with your cholesterol level, what you will be told is how all the cholesterol adds up in your blood. The higher this number, the higher your cholesterol level, the higher your risk of stroke and heart attack. If you then also have a family history of these illnesses, diabetes, high blood pressure, or if you smoke, you will have an even greater risk.
HDL Cholesterol Chart – What You Should Look For:
Your total cholesterol level should be less than 200 mg per deciliter. If it is between 200 and 239, you are classed as borderline high risk. If it is over 240, you are considered at high risk.
However, there is a lot more to it than just “cholesterol”. Instead, you also have to understand the difference between HDL, LDL, and triglycerides. HDL, or high density lipoprotein, is classed as being ‘good’. This is because it helps to destroy the build up of bad cholesterol on the arterial walls. As such, HDL is the good type and your HDL level should be high. Interestingly, there is a difference between men and women. Men should have HDL levels greater than 40 milligrams per deciliter in order to lower their risk of heart disease. For women, these levels should be greater than 50 milligrams per deciliter. As such, the HDL cholesterol chart focuses on the good type of cholesterol. Those who have HDL levels greater than 60 milligrams per deciliter are the healthiest of all and can be protected to a certain degree from heart disease.
Then, there is the bad cholesterol, which is LDL, or low density lipoprotein. If your LDL level is high, your blood vessels will tend to become narrower and this means that you are at increased risk of heart disease. There is no difference between men and women. The optimal level for LDL is less than 100 mg/dL. Just above is between 100 and 129 mg/dL. If it rises to between 130 and 159 mg/dL, it is borderline high, and between 160 and 189 mg/dL is classed as high. Anything above 190 mg/dL is very high and requires immediate medical attention.
Last but not least, there are the triglycerides. The triglyceride level should also be low if you want to have optimal health. There is no difference between men and women. Less than 150 mg/dL is classed as normal, 150-199 mg/dL is borderline to high, 200 to 499 mg/dL is high, and anything above 500 mg/dL is classed as very high.