The Three Cholesterol Measurements and What They Mean

When people think about having a problem with cholesterol, they often think of having “high cholesterol.” But what does it mean to have high cholesterol? You may have also heard that there is both good and bad cholesterol. What is the difference? Here are some common answers to these questions.

HDL Cholesterol (Good Cholesterol)

HDL cholesterol is measured to make sure that you are getting enough healthy fats. This is often referred to as “good cholesterol.” There are not very many people who have HDL cholesterol that is too high. However, it is common for HDL cholesterol to be too low. The average HDL cholesterol for an adult should be 60 or higher. If you have low HDL cholesterol, you can exercise, change your diet, and/or take medication to raise the number.

LDL Cholesterol (Bad Cholesterol)

When most people say that their cholesterol is high, they usually mean that they have a high LDL measurement. LDL cholesterol is the type that clogs arteries and increases your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. The average person should have an LDL of less than 100 and no more than 159. Typically, high LDL cholesterol is treated with medication and diet changes.

Total Cholesterol

The total cholesterol number itself can also be high. If your total cholesterol is too high, you may need to make some dietary changes, start an exercise routine, or take medication. The average adult should have a total cholesterol of less than 200. This means that even if your bad cholesterol is low, this number can also be high if you are getting too much good cholesterol.

If you haven’t had your cholesterol checked in the last year, you need to make sure that your doctor runs these tests in the near future. Contact us today for more information or to schedule an appointment.