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Cholesterol Readings Explained

It is a good idea to have your level of cholesterol checked periodically. You will receive a cholesterol reading that consists of your total cholesterol level, lipoprotein levels, triglycerides and high density lipoprotein cholesterol level. This will give your physician an overall picture of your health.


Your physician will want three different levels checked t give him a combined reading. It is recommended that you have the cholesterol levels of the three which is the total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol monitored and checked. The best total cholesterol reading is 200mg with a limit of 200 mg to 239mg. Experts predict you are at risk of having heart disease if you have a total of 240mg above cholesterol readings.

LDL Cholesterol

Low density lipoprotein is known as bad cholesterol. If you have high levels of bad cholesterol, it can cause cholesterol deposits in the walls of your blood which increase the risk of possible heart disease. The desirable LDL cholesterol level is below 200 milligrams. The borderline limit of LDL is between 200-240m. A dangerous level is considered to be 240 mg.

HDL Cholesterol

Good cholesterol is the high density lipoprotein. High density lipoprotein cleanses excess cholesterol from tissues to the liver. The liver then breaks it down and it becomes part of the bile for removal. A recommended HDL level is 40mg. You must try to keep your HDL level within 40mg to 45mg. Also keep in mind that it should never dip below 40g. A level above 60mg protects the heart and helps improve brain functions because it protect the blood vessels.


Triglycerides are a type of fat. It collects in the body as fat and then flows into the blood stream. Most fats in our diet are triglycerides. Triglycerides contribute to of heart disease. In high dosages, it thickens the blood and may cause a heart attack or stroke due to clotting of the blood. The recommended triglyceride level is 150 below with a limit of 150 to 199. It should not exceed 200 above.

Keep in mind when reading your cholesterol level, there are no ideal readings. Ideal readings are different for everyone. It depends on the individualís risk factor or genetic predisposition due to family history, sex, overall health condition and age.

Though physicians recommend if you have a total reading of over 240mg, it is an indication of a lifestyle change. This will increase your risk of having heart problems. If you have a history of high cholesterol, you should be checked every one to two years. Make sure you are doing everything possible to assure that you maintain a health lifestyle so that you can live a long and healthy life.


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