|What Are High Cholesterol Numbers?|
Your cholesterol level has a lot to do with your heart health. If a person has a high cholesterol number, they might be at a risk for developing coronary heart disease and stroke. Thus, it is very important that people have their cholesterol levels checked regularly.
When we have our cholesterol levels measured, we are bound to find out what types of cholesterol are present in our systems. There are typically three numbers to determine: our total cholesterol, and individual measurements for high-density lipoproteins (HDLs, known as the "good" type of cholesterol) and low density lipoproteins (LDLs, or the "bad" cholesterol). Some cholesterol tests may include triglyceride levels. Let us determine what the high cholesterol numbers are for each measurement:
Total Cholesterol Level
Total cholesterol is the total cholesterol count in our bloodstream, taking into account the good and bad cholesterols (HDLs and LDLs) and triglyceride levels. For total cholesterol, a number less than 200 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter units) is generally considered to be healthy. A cholesterol number of 200-239 mg/dL is considered to be Borderline High, while a level of 240 and above might put someone at a significantly high risk of developing heart disease.
Low-density lipoproteins, also considered as the "bad" cholesterol, are those that easily oxidize, form plaques and tend to build-up on the arterial walls. When these plaques form, the artery can become rigid and inflexible, causing the condition called atherosclerosis. When the arterial walls become blocked by plaque, blood clots may form which could possibly lead to stroke or heart attack.
LDL cholesterol levels lower than 100 mg/dL are thought to be ideal. As a rule of thumb, the lower the LDL number, the better it is for our health. A person would be at the borderline high if their LDL values were from 130 to 160 mg/dL. Abnormally high levels might be those in the range from 160 to 190, and values higher would potentially put someone at an even bigger risk for heart attack. To help lower your high cholesterol number for LDL, your doctor might likely recommend a diet with low saturated fat coupled with regular exercise and possibly some supplements or medications.
HDLs or high-density lipoproteins are considered the "good" kind of cholesterol. It is believed to help reduce the risk for heart failure and stroke. Contrary to LDLs, the higher our HDL number, the better. An HDL level less than 40 mg/dL means greater risk for cardiovascular diseases, and levels 60 or more are believed to be ideal for good health.
A person's triglyceride level is usually inversely linked to HDLs. Low HDLs mean high triglycerides. It is thought to be ideal to maintain a triglyceride level of 150 mg/dL. A level of at least 200 to 499 is considered high. High triglyceride levels are often seen in those who live a sedentary lifestyle where they may be stuck sitting at a desk all day, or those who intake too much alcohol, or those with health conditions such as diabetes and obesity.
High cholesterol numbers in the bloodstream could indicate someone might be more likely to develop heart disease, which is today's number one killer disease. Although heart disease usually takes many years to develop, doing something about our cholesterol levels today might mean the difference between life and death tomorrow.
We all need to talk to our doctors about diet, exercise, health foods and don't forget to ask your doctor for details on why so many people also now take fish oil as part of a good, overall diet and exercise and health food program.