Cholesterol is an oil based compound in all our cells that is a friend when in normal level and becomes a bane in higher concentrations. All cells need cholesterol for normal functioning. Most of the time, the cholesterol is made by the cells from the food we eat. When we over eat, especially sugars, carbohydrates and fatty items, there is a cholesterol over production and the cholesterol and related compounds over crowd in the blood stream which can later block the blood passage causing heart attacks. A regular check up and blood test will help determine the blood cholesterol level of a person from time to time.
The cholesterol readings are done in milligram per deciliter, mg/dL. The cholesterol readings show the presence of mainly three types of molecules, low density lipoprotein- LDL, high density lipoprotein-HDL, and triglycerides. The LDL is considered the bad cholesterol and HDL is the good cholesterol. As per the cholesterol readings from the blood test done, the optimal levels of these compounds should be less for both LDL and triglycerides and high for the HDL. A perfect balance of these three components forms the optimal cholesterol level.
The good cholesterol readings
The good cholesterol readings should be,
- LDL- less than 100 mg/dL
- HDL- 40-60 mg/dL
- Triglycerides- less than 150 mg/dL
- Total cholesterol- below 200 mg/dL
The good cholesterol readings may vary in accordance with the age, health, and gender. A person who is more prone to heart attacks should have less than the given optimal LDL and triglycerides in the blood. The reduction in the optimal level increases with the enormity of the risk. The given optimal level for the cholesterol molecules are for an average healthy person.
The bad cholesterol readings
The bad cholesterol readings are always bad for all. Basically, any reading higher than the optimal level is considered as a bad cholesterol reading.
LDL level 100-129 mg/dL is considered as a borderline level and is not treated as bad cholesterol level. When it reaches 130-150 it is slightly high and the person should take measures to lower it before it gets worse. Any LDL cholesterol reading above 150 is bad. The enormity increases with increasing value. Anything above the 190 mg/dL mark is dangerous and the person is vulnerable to all sorts of cholesterol related troubles.
As for the HDL the readings when it comes down is bad in the cholesterol readings. The good cholesterol HDL actually helps lower the LDL and triglycerides and a reduction is HDL automatically increases the other two. The optimal level of HDL changes with gender. For men the ideal value is below 40 and for women it is 50. Women normally have a higher HDL level than men and that reflects in their normal values as well.
Triglycerides when reach the value above 150 mg/dL is borderline high and if it exceeds 200 it is bad cholesterol reading. In some cases, cholesterol readings show triglycerides above 500 which is highly risky and shows poor health.
More about cholesterol readings
The person should be on empty stomach before taking the blood samples. Nothing should be eaten for 9-12 hours prior to the sampling. The items that are eaten can reflect on the cholesterol readings, as the cholesterol is made from the food we eat. A person who was in a sweet diet for a week before the blood test may show higher value in the triglycerides. Triglycerides are formed as a result of calorie storage and the excess calories that we eat is there as triglycerides.
How to make a bad cholesterol reading to good
It is easier to bring the cholesterol reading to normal from a borderline. If the readings show high cholesterol level, then it may take longer and harder to bring it to normalcy. Reducing high calorie, fatty and sugary foods automatically reflects in less production of LDL and triglycerides. When this controlled diet has assistance from regular exercises and other physical activities, the excess level also can be brought down. The success rate depends on the will power of the person and regularity in the activities. Try to include more fiber and vegetables in the diet and avoid fruits that are too sweet.
For people who have high cholesterol readings may need to take necessary medications, in addition to the changes mentioned above. Dietary supplements like Choleslo– a natural cholesterol reducing supplement, can extend a helping hand in reducing the bad cholesterol as well increasing the good cholesterol.
Please note that the total cholesterol reading is not the final reading. A reduction in HDL can also bring the total cholesterol reading down. So look for the LDL and triglyceride levels also. If they are high, your health is under concern regardless of what the total cholesterol level shows. We need both LDL and triglycerides but only as much as needed and not an ounce in excess.