Do You Know Your Cholesterol Levels?
Chances are, if you’ve been to the doctor and had a cholesterol test lately, you’ve been wondering about your results. Well, since most of us are not doctors, it can be hard to know if you’re within a healthy range for your cholesterol levels or if you are dancing in a danger zone.
Many times, if you have your cholesterol checked and your doctor says nothing about your results then it means that you are well within healthy range, but it might be a good idea for you to find out exactly what numbers you’re looking at so you can find ways to maintain a healthy heart for life and know how to lower cholesterol levels.
The Cholesterol Levels and Total Count
Let’s work on decoding your cholesterol test results, since you might not know what you’re dealing with. Your doctor will probably give you a number. One number and there may be very little explanation involved when this number is presented, so here it is. The first number your doctor is going to give you is the total amount of cholesterol in your blood. Now, this is measured in milligrams that are present in a deciliter of your blood. However, your doctor is likely to only give you a number, so here it is:
- The total amount of cholesterol in your blood should be lower than 200. If it’s a lot higher than 200, then you’re beginning to be in the heart disease risk category.
- If your cholesterol is just slightly elevated, say 202, your physician may just tell you that you need to work to lower it and recommend a diet and exercise routine.
The Bad – LDL Cholesterol
The thing is that your doctor may have also measured the amount of LDL cholesterol you have in your system. This is the ‘stuff’ that sticks to the artery walls, so you want to keep it low. Now, don’t worry too much, but you’re going to be aiming for lower than 100, so if you have an LDL of 99, you’re still in the safe zone, but if you’re getting to 100 or higher, you need to work on lowering this number, but you can go up to about 129 and still be considered okay, so check with your health care professional to find out what this number is.
Another bad, which you may not even know about is your triglyceride level. Triglycerides are present in blood serum, but if you have a level of 150 or higher, you will need to work on lowering these to maintain optimal heart health.
The Good – HDL Cholesterol
At last, we get to the good. Your HDL cholesterol levels are necessary because this helps you to get rid of the bad cholesterol, so aim for a level of about 60 and if it’s lower, you need to work to get that level up.
While your cholesterol test results might seem worrisome, you should know that you can change your cholesterol levels. Through proper diet, exercise and medications, or if you prefer natural cholesterol lowering supplements, you can make a difference. Get your cholesterol levels checked and know how to read your cholesterol test results so that you can be healthy for life.