Cholesterol Numbers

Are My Total Numbers Too High?
Total cholesterol numbers over 240 mg/dL are considered high, numbers between 200 and 239 mg/dL are borderline high, and numbers under 200 are desirable. If your number is over 240 mg/dL, your risk for heart disease and stroke is higher.
Total Cholesterol Level
Total Cholesterol Category
Less than 200 mg/dL
200-239 mg/dL
Borderline high
240 mg/dL and above
(Cholesterol levels are measured in milligrams [mg] of cholesterol per deciliter [dL] of blood.)

Measuring the "Good" Cholesterol

High-density lipoprotein (HDL) numbers measure the "good" cholesterol in your bloodstream. HDLs carry cholesterol in the blood from other parts of the body back to the liver, which leads to its removal from the body. So HDL helps keep cholesterol from building up in the walls of the arteries. If your HDL cholesterol numbers are below 40 mg/dL, you are at a substantially higher risk for heart disease. The higher your HDL, the better your heart health. Numbers over 60 mg/dL are considered protective against heart disease.
HDL Cholesterol Level
HDL Cholesterol Category
Less than 40 mg/dL
A major risk factor for heart disease
40-59 mg/dL
The higher, the better
60 mg/dL and above
Considered protective against heart disease
The average number for men is about 45 mg/dL; for women, it is about 55 mg/dL.
10 Foods That Lower Cholesterol


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