In your body, cholesterol plays a crucial role. Additionally, carrying out tasks involving vitamins and hormones aids cell formation. However, excessive amounts of LDL (bad) cholesterol can increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. On the other hand, increased HDL (good) cholesterol levels are considered advantageous for cardiovascular health.
You can find out your LDL and HDL cholesterol levels with a quick blood test. If you need to start taking medicine or make specific lifestyle changes to lower your cholesterol levels, the results of a cholesterol test can tell you whether to do so. Let’s examine cholesterol levels in more detail, the range that defines a healthy level, and what you may do to lower your cholesterol.
How is Cholesterol Measured?
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) are the two main kinds of cholesterol.
LDL is referred to as the “bad” type of cholesterol because it creates dangerous plaques along the walls of your arteries. This may cause the arteries to constrict, which will hinder healthy blood flow.
HDL is referred to as the “good” cholesterol due to its primary function of preventing LDL cholesterol from your body.
A standard lipid profile blood test measures cholesterol levels in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). Your blood test should reveal the following when your cholesterol is evaluated:
- LDL cholesterol levels
- HDL cholesterol levels
- Triglycerides are forms of fat that store extra calories.
- LDL and HDL cholesterol and 20% of your triglycerides are all components of total cholesterol.
What are the Ideal Cholesterol Levels?
One approach to lessen your risk of developing atherosclerosis, a condition in which plaques restrict the arteries and decrease blood flow to organs and tissue throughout the body, is to maintain appropriate cholesterol levels.
According to your age and gender, the National Institutes of Health advise the following cholesterol levels.
Cholesterol levels that are advised for adults over 20
- LDL: less than 100mg/dL
- HDL: For men, HDL levels should be at least 40 mg/dL and 50 mg/dL. (for women)
- Triglycerides: less than 150 mg/dL
- Total cholesterol: 125 to 200mg/dL
Cholesterol levels that are advised for people over 19
- LDL: less than 100 mg/dL
- HDL: greater than 45 mg/d
- Triglycerides: less than 150 mg/dL
- Total cholesterol: less than 170mg/dL
What Actions can be taken to Lower Cholesterol?
According to a 2019 study, some people may be able to lower their cholesterol levels by changing their lifestyles. Dependable source Common lifestyle modifications for lowering cholesterol include:
- Obtaining a minimum of 30 to 45 minutes of credible sources for aerobic exercise at a low intensity.
- maintaining a low-saturated-fat diet and maintaining a healthy weight
- Keeping stress levels under control because too much stress may increase LDL cholesterol.
- Quit smoking, which can harden your arteries and increase the chance of cholesterol plaque formation in your arteries.
The Bottom Line
Your cholesterol levels are important determinants of your risk profile for heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular health. Fortunately, a blood test makes it simple to determine your LDL, HDL, and total cholesterol levels. If medication or other actions are required to lower your cholesterol levels to a healthy range, the findings of that test can be used to make that determination.
If you have concerns about your risk for a heart attack or other difficulties, consult your doctor about whether you should begin taking medications or making lifestyle changes to reduce your risks and strengthen the health of your heart and arteries.