Cholesterol Center

Cholesterol Levels

It is important to identify your cholesterol numbers because awareness can start you on a path to lowering cholesterol levels.  This way, you can decrease the risk for developing heart disease and reduces the chance of a heart attack. But who should request cholesterol testing?  And how often?

Lipoprotein profile
Men and women age 20 and older should have their cholesterol measured at least once every 5 years. Ideally, you should request a blood test called a "lipoprotein profile" to identify your cholesterol numbers. This blood test is done after a 9- to 12-hour fast and gives information about

  • HDL (good) cholesterol
  • LDL (bad) cholesterol
  • Total cholesterol
  • Triglycerides

Cholesterol test
If it is not possible to get a lipoprotein profile done, knowing your total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol can give you a general idea about your cholesterol levels. Testing for total and HDL cholesterol does not require fasting.  Cholesterol levels are measured in milligrams (mg) of cholesterol per deciliter (dL) of blood.  Following are the steps you can take in order to request a cholesterol test.

  1. Go to the doctor and ask for a cholesterol test.
  2. The doctor will give you a number for your total cholesterol level and indicate how much good and bad cholesterol is measured.
  3. Your total cholesterol number should be under 200.


Optimum level HDL good cholesterol = 60mg/dL or more
Optimum level LDL bad cholesterol = 100mg/dL or less


If LDL cholesterol levels are a problem, there are step that you can take.  In fact, you can lower your cholesterol at home.  Continue reading to learn more about the two most popular methods of treating bad cholesterol in the how to treat high cholesterol section.

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