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Normal Cholesterol Levels

What's A Good Reading & What Isn't

You can use the following chart to find the normal cholesterol levels for total cholesterol, hdl cholesterol, ldl cholesterol and triglycerides.

Cholesterol Levels Chart
Total Cholesterol Level (Serum Cholesterol) Risk Level
200 mg/dL or below Low Risk
200-239 mg/dL Borderline 
240 and above High Risk
LDL Cholesterol Level (Bad Cholesterol)  Risk Level
< 100 mg/dL Optimal
100-129 mg/dL Near Optimal
130-159 mg/dL Borderline
160-189 mg/dL High Risk
190 mg/dL and above Very High Risk
HDL Cholesterol Level (Healthy Cholesterol)  Risk Level
Less than 40 mg/dL High Risk
40-59 mg/dL Normal
60 mg/dL and above Low Risk
Triglyceride Level (Bad Lipid) Risk Level
Less than 150 mg/dL Low Risk
150-199 mg/dL Borderline
200-499 mg/dL High Risk
500 mg/dL and above Very High Risk

Caution When Reading Cholesterol Level Charts

When analyzing your cholesterol levels to determine whether or not you're at risk for heart disease, you need to look at your LDL and HDL cholesterol levels, not just your total cholesterol. While total cholesterol is a good indicator of your corresponding LDL levels, and therefore your risk for heart disease, looking specifically at your HDL and LDL levels is much more accurate.

You could have a total cholesterol level well under 200 and still be at high risk for heart disease. For example, say your total cholesterol was on the low side but your HDL level is under 35, you would still be considered at increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The opposite is true as well too. You could have a high total cholesterol but if the high total cholesterol levels was due to higher than normal HDL levels, you may still be considered at low risk for heart disease.

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