What is a normal total cholesterol level?
A desirable total cholesterol level for adults without heart disease is less than 200 mg/dL. An HDL cholesterol level of 60 mg/dL and above is considered protective against heart disease, while a level less than 50 mg/dL for women or 40 mg/dL for men is considered a major risk factor for heart disease.
The levels of total cholesterol fall into the following categories: ideal level: cholesterol level in the blood less than 5mmol/l. too high cholesterol level: between 5 and 6.4mmol/ very high cholesterol level: between 6.5 and 7.8mmol/l.
- Cholesterol levels for adults. Total cholesterol levels less than 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) are considered desirable for adults. A reading between 200 and 239 mg/dL is considered borderline high and a reading of 240 mg/dL and above is considered high. LDL cholesterol levels should be less than 100 mg/dL.
- This is why it is best to limit the amount of foods we eat that are high in saturated fats such as:
- Hard margarines.
- Lard, dripping and goose fat.
- Fatty meat and meat products such as sausages.
- Full fat cheese, milk, cream and yogurt.
- Coconut and palm oils and coconut cream.
- The government recommends that healthy adults should have a total cholesterol level below 5 mmol/L. In the UK, three out of five adults have a total cholesterol level of 5 mmol/L or above, and the average cholesterol level is about 5.7 mmol/L, which can be a risk factor in the development of coronary heart disease.
Your total cholesterol level is the overall amount of cholesterol found in your blood. It consists of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL). LDL is also called “bad” cholesterol because it blocks your blood vessels and increases your risk of heart disease. The higher your HDL, the better.
- 6 Dietary and Lifestyle Tips To Lower LDL Levels
- Limit your intake of foods full of saturated fats, trans fats, and dietary cholesterol.
- Eat a lot more fiber-rich foods (especially soluble fiber from foods like beans, oats, barley, fruits, and vegetables).
- A cholesterol test or lipid panel tells the level of HDL cholesterol. HDL cholesterol levels greater than 60 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) are high. That's good. HDL cholesterol levels less than 40 mg/dL are low.
- Once you have these three numbers, you can use them in a simple equation to calculate your total cholesterol. The equation is: LDL + HDL + (triglycerides/5) = total cholesterol. For instance, if you had an LDL of 100, HDL of 60, and triglyceride level of 150, then the equation would read: 100 + 60 + (150/5).
The National Cholesterol Education Program suggests that total blood cholesterol level should be: < 200 mg/dL normal blood cholesterol. 200-239 mg/dL borderline-high. > 240 mg/dL high cholesterol.
- Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that's found in all the cells in your body. Your body needs some cholesterol to make hormones, vitamin D, and substances that help you digest foods. If you have too much cholesterol in your blood, it can combine with other substances in the blood to form plaque.
- Some researchers believe that measuring your non-HDL cholesterol levels gives a better assessment of the risk for heart disease than measuring only LDL. This is especially true if you have high triglycerides. Your non-HDL cholesterol level is found by subtracting your HDL cholesterol from your total cholesterol.
- The National Cholesterol Education Program suggests that total blood cholesterol level should be: < 200 mg/dL normal blood cholesterol. 200-239 mg/dL borderline-high. > 240 mg/dL high cholesterol.
Updated: 21st October 2018