What Are Normal Levels of Cholesterol? Part 1
The first in a two part series.
Do you know what the acceptable levels are for each of the different types of cholesterol? There are different types of cholesterol? Yes there are. The three most well known types are LDL, HDL and triglycerides. Typically people with high cholesterol will give their overall composite cholesterol level. However, knowing what are the normal levels for each type of cholesterol is very important to your heart health.
High cholesterol is a substantial risk factor for strokes, heart diseases and heart attacks. Maintaining normal levels of cholesterol can help reduce your risk.
The cholesterol is measured in milligrams of cholesterol per deciliter of blood (mg/dL). The American Heart Association published guidelines are for adults only. High cholesterol in children appears to be an area where modern medicine is not concerned with.
Many factors can play a role in determining what the normal cholesterol levels are for you, such as health, gender, race, age, family history, if you smoke, if you have high blood pressure, overweight, diabetic and exercise program.
Types of Cholesterol:
LDL is low density lipoprotein also known as ‘bad’ cholesterol. It is recommended that people have an LDL level that is less than 100 mg/dL. As long as the level is below 160 mg/dL is considered acceptable. Above 160 mg/dL is high cholesterol and increases your risk to heart disease.
HDL is high density lipoprotein also known as ‘good’ cholesterol. The higher the HDL count is the better it is for you. Men should have a level of at least of 40 mg/dL and women should be no lower than 50 mg/dL.
Triglycerides are a kind of fat in the blood. High triglyceride levels usually indicate that the person has high cholesterol. A triglyceride level is below 199 mg/dL is considered normal.
To determine what your cholesterol levels are, your doctor will give you a simple blood test. This test will determine the LDL, HDL and triglyceride levels in your blood. In order to get an accurate test reading you will be required to fast for 12 hours prior to the test. Afterwards you can eat, and make it a healthy meal.
This the second part in a two part series.
What Are Normal Levels of Cholesterol? Part 2
Drinking alcohol will increase your triglyceride levels for several days. Beer especially causes the body to increase the triglyceride levels. In order to not skew the test results, don’t drink for several days prior to taking the cholesterol test.
You want to understand what each of these mean to better take care of your health and prevent any medical problems that could occur.
C-reactive protein (CRP) test has been around for some time. However, recently doctors’ using the test as an indicator to determine if a person has an increased risk factor for diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease.
Total Cholesterol Level
If your total cholesterol level is less than two hundred milligrams per deciliter you are at lower risk for heart diseases. A level of two hundred to two hundred and thirty nine is borderline high. It is time to take preventative measures to lower your cholesterol like changing your eating habits and increasing your exercise regimen. If your cholesterol level is greater than two hundred and forty you have high cholesterol and you are at risk of a heart disease.
HDL Cholesterol Level:
Your HDL level plays significant factor in your risk heart disease. A low HDL cholesterol level will you put at risk whereas a high HDL level may offer more protection. The normal level of HDL is above forty and the best if above sixty milligrams per deciliter.
LDL Cholesterol Level:
The LDL level plays an important factor in your risk for strokes and heart attacks. High levels of LDL cholesterol will lead to plaque build up in the arteries. The normal level of LDL is below one hundred and thirty and is considered high if above one hundred and sixty.
Triglycerides are an indicator of high cholesterol. The normal level of triglycerides is below two hundred and considered high if above two hundred. People who have high triglycerides typically have poor eating habits, overweight and do not get enough exercise.
Simple ways to manage high cholesterol:
One of the most effective ways to manage your cholesterol level is to watch what you eat. Eating foods that contain trans fat and saturated fat will increase your cholesterol levels.
While grocery shopping take the time to read the product labels. The product information label contains a wealth of nutrition information. The product label will indicate the number of grams of trans fat, mono and poly saturated fats. As well as, the calories that is coming from the fat content in the food.
Avoid foods that contain hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oil. Hydrogenated oil are manufactured by modern chemistry and are not naturally occurring. Unlike other dietary fats, trans fats are neither required nor beneficial for health.
Try to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and dietary fiber. Studies have been conducted showing that an increase in fiber will reduce the overall cholesterol level.
Buy lean meats and limit yourself to three ounce servings when eating meat. As you reduce your intake of red meat, you may become anemic. This is especially true if you used to consume a large amount of red meat on a weekly basis. To counter act this drop in iron, eat more iron rich foods like green leafy vegetables.
Stick to broiled and baked foods instead of fried. All the fat of fried foods will have a major effect on your cholesterol level. This is one of the many main reasons for people with high cholesterol. Eating too many fried foods will do that to a person. Along with watching what you eat, the best way to keep your cholesterol levels normal is to exercise regularly along with your diet.