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What is a healthy cholesterol measurement for me?

December 09, 2019 3 min read

As you get older, your risk of having high cholesterol goes up rapidly.

Whilst only around 1 in 5 people aged 20 have high cholesterol, that number rises to around 1 in 2 people over the age of 50, often with little to no change in diet, and perhaps even a slightly healthier lifestyle.

As high cholesterol has no real outwards symptoms, it can be difficult to know whether you have high cholesterol or not without a blood test, and once you have your test results back, it can be hrd to read them.

Understanding the baseline figures, and what you can do to improve your cholesterol levels, is an important step to take for a healthy life. Here's what you need to know

 

What should my cholesterol levels be?

When understanding your cholesterol levels, first you need to understand that there isn't just one type of cholesterol.

When you have a cholesterol test, whether at your doctors, or using a home kit, you're going to get multiple readings back, which will include most or all of the below:

Total Cholesterol

Your total cholesterol is exactly what as it sounds, it's your total levels of cholesterol, including LDL and HDL, as well as triglycerides.

Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL)

LDL is the bad cholesterol that contributes to heart disease and other health problems.

High values of LDL are generally a bad sign, and an indicator of possible problems.

High Density Lipoproteins (HDL)

HDL is the good cholesterol, and can help protect against heart disease and fight the effects of LDL.

High values of HDL are generally good.

Triglycerides

Triglycerides are a type of fat that can be found throughout the body, and is used as a building block for other fats like cholesterol.

High values of triglycerides are also generally a bad sign.

How high should my cholesterol levels be?

According to the guidelines, cholesterol levels have strict guidelines on health, despite the fact that cholesterol levels rise naturally as you get older.

Here are the Journal of the American College of Cardiology's acceptable cholesterol values:

All measurements are in milligrams per decilitre (mg/dl)

Total cholesterol

 

Good

Borderline

High

Very High

Less than 200

200 to 239

240 to 499

More than 500

 

HDL cholesterol

 

Good

Borderline

Low

Above 60

Between 60 and 40

Less than 40

 

LDL Cholesterol

 

Good

Borderline

High

Very High

Less than 129

130 to 159

160 to 189

More than 190

 

Triglycerides

 

Good

Borderline

High

Very High

Less than 100

100 to 149

160 to 189

More than 190

 

Cholesterol and age

As previously mentioned, your cholesterol levels will tend to increase as you age, requiring more management, as well as more frequent testing.

If you are concerned about your cholesterol, be sure to speak to your healthcare provider.

Cholesterol and sex

Women who have gone through the menopause are at especial risk of high cholesterol.

Managing cholesterol alongside the hormonal and health changes can be difficult. Speaking to your doctor is a good step to take, as is taking supplements to help manage the issue.

Supplements like HerHeart are specifically designed for women who are going through or who have gone through the menopause, and provide a huge benefit both to hormonal and general health, as well as reducing the chances of long term health problems like heart disease by supporting a healthy heart.

As always, if you are concerned about any aspect of your health, especially something as important as cholesterol and heart health, always speak to your doctor.

 

Important information: The information provided on this website is of a general nature and information purposes only. It does not take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. It is not personalised health advice and must not be relied upon as such. Before making any decisions about your health or changes to medication, diet and exercise routines you should determine whether the information is appropriate in terms of your particular circumstances and seek advice from a medical professional.