What Are Normal Cholesterol Levels
Cholesterol is a lipid found naturally in the human body, which we need function normally. Still, we can differentiate between good and bad cholesterol, and an excess of this substance can cause health problems by obstructing bloodstream.
Thus, it is necessary to control cholesterol levels through blood tests and follow a balanced diet to help us maintain optimum values. In this OneHowTo.com article we answer your question: what are normal cholesterol levels?
First, please note that there are two types of cholesterol:
High density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL)
It is commonly known as good cholesterol, its function is to gather the cholesterol our body hasn't used and take it to the liver, where it will then be eliminated. It's naturally produced by our organism, boosting its levels thanks to adequate nutrition rich in fiber, blue fish and nutrients, a low fat diet and physical exercise.
Though there's a limit to HDL lipids, the fact is that the higher the level the better.
Low density cholesterol (LDL)
It is also called bad cholesterol. When this type of cholesterol reaches adequate levels it's not a problem, though when it increases its presence in our blood flow, our body is not capable of getting rid of it effectively and, in worse cases, can obstruct it, which makes it difficult for blood to reach the heart and can cause strokes and important cardiovascular diseases.
A diet rich in saturated fats is the main cause for this condition, which is why fried food, trans fat, cured meat, lipid-rich meat, industrial pastries and whole dairy products should be avoided. Keeping LDL levels under control is very important to guarantee our well-being and our heart's health.
You can find out more in the article "what is good cholesterol and bad cholesterol?".
In order for cholesterol to benefit our health, we should start by knowing what the normal levels of cholesterol are. These levels are determined through a simple blood test where your levels of HDL, LDL and total cholesterol levels are calculated.
Normal cholesterol values should be as follows:
- HDL or good cholesterol: higher than 60 mg/dL, although the more good cholesterol in the blood, the better. So, if you have a low HDL count, you might want to know what food has good cholesterol so you can start increasing it.
- LDL or bad cholesterol: below 100 mg/dL and, at most, at a level of 160 mg/dL. Above this level is considered high.
- Total cholesterol: Levels below 200 mg/dL are recommended.
When cholesterol levels exceed 200 mg/dL it is considered to be hypercholesterolemia, that is to say that the cholesterol level is too high. So between 200 and 240 mg/dL is a high-normal cholesterol level and anything exceeding 250 mg/dL is posing a significant risk.
If you have high cholesterol levels, it's basic to change certain habits that will allow us to reach optimum levels, as our heart's health depends on it. This is why we recommend the following:
- Get rid of foods that increase cholesterol levels such as fried foods and snacks, cured meats and those that are high in fats, pastries such as cookies, cakes, sweets and full-fat dairy products, especially those that are high in fat such as cured or creamy cheese.
- Add ingredients that increase HDL lipids, as they'll help you get rid of bad cholesterol. Fiber and certain types of fats are ideal. Take a look at the foods that increase good cholesterol levels for more information.
- Do exercise frequently, as physical activity is the best way to reduce cholesterol and keep your heart healthy.
- Make sure your cholesterol levels are monitored by a doctor and your diet's progress is followed by a professional.
If you want to reduce the amount of lipids in your blood, don't miss out on the following articles:
This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.
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- It is recommended for people over 20 years old who have risk factors such as a family history of high cholesterol to be tested every 4 years.