What Is A Good Cholesterol Number

Cholesterol is a confusing, scary concept. Essentially, cholesterol stands for “bile” and “solid,” which are essential for cell membranes. There are two kinds of cholesterol, both of which are produced by the liver. According to Mayo Clinic.com, “cholesterol levels are measured in milligrams (mg) of cholesterol per deciliter (dL) of blood in the United States and some other countries.”

The total cholesterol numbers are as follows: The most desirable number is below 200 mg/dl. Borderline high numbers would be 200-239 mg/dl. Finally, the overall cholesterol number that is considered high and requires medical attention is 240 mg/dl and above (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cholesterol-levels/CL00001)

Now comes the confusing part: there is good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. According to WebMD, LDL is the “bad” kind of cholesterol because it “collects in the walls of blood vessels, causing blockages of atherosclerosis” (http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/ldl-cholesterol-the-bad-cholesterol). LDL stands for “low-density lipoprotein.”

So what are the numbers for LDL? Anything below 70 mg/dl is ideal for anyone with a very high chance of heart disease. Below 100 mg/dl is ideal for people with an average risk for heart disease. What’s near ideal is anything between 100-129 mg/dl. Borderline high numbers are anything between 130 to 159 mg/dl. Then, what is considered to be high cholesterol levels are 160-189 mg/dl LDL cholesterol. Finally, anything above 190 mg/dl is considered to be a very high number.

But it is not only low density lipoprotein out there. There is another kind of cholesterol called HDL,w hich stands for “high density lipoprotein,” which is often referred to as the “good cholesterol because it is thought to help remove bad cholesterol from the body.” (http://www.zetia.com/ezetimibe/zetia/consumer/understanding_cholesterol/ldl-bad-cholesterol-basics.jsp?WT.mc_id=E03GV&src=2?MTD=2)

There are still specific important numbers for high density lipoprotein. For instance, anything below 40 mg/dl for men is considered poor. On the other hand, for women, anything below 50 mg/dl is considered unhealthy. For a better health stance, men should aim for 40-49 mg/dl. Meanwhile, women should aim for 50-59 mg/dl. Finally, the best HDL cholesterol levels are at 60 mg or above for men and women.

You can take many steps to lower your LDL levels. You can take prescribed medication, exercise, eat specific foods that help lower than number down. In Health News.US, the writer mentions Christopher Gardner, who is a researcher at Stanford University with an emphasis on nutrition. According to him, “varied diet that emphasizes plants, fish, legumes, whole grains, and fruits is significantly better at lowering problematic cholesterol than a more conventional diet of prepared foods equally low in saturated fats and cholesterol. Why? Components of plant-based diets actively interact to improve cholesterol profiles, he suggests.”

Furthermore, another scientific study is mentioned in the article, where “Dean Ornish, the founder of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, Calif., has shown that his multipronged approach (diet, exercise, stress reduction, and social support), while not easy to maintain, can lower LDL by nearly 40 percent and even cause plaques in arteries to shrink” (http://health.usnews.com/health-conditions/heart-health/lowering-ldl-cholesterol)



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