High Cholesterol: Frequently Asked Questions (cont.)
In this Article
- What is cholesterol?
- Why should I be concerned about cholesterol?
- What's the difference between "good" and "bad" cholesterol?
- How much cholesterol is too much?
- Can I lower my risk for heart disease if I lower my cholesterol?
- What makes my cholesterol levels go up?
- What can I do to lower my cholesterol?
- What medications are used to treat high cholesterol?
- If a product's package reads "low cholesterol" does that mean that the product is low in fat and safe to eat?
- At what age should people begin having their cholesterol checked?
4) How Much Cholesterol Is Too Much?
Doctors recommend your cholesterol stay below 200. Here is the breakdown:
|Less than 200||Desirable|
|240 and above||High|
|LDL Cholesterol||LDL - Cholesterol Category|
|Less than 100||Optimal|
|100-129||Near optimal/above optimal|
|190 and above||Very high|
HDL (good) cholesterol protects against heart disease, so for HDL, higher numbers are better. A level less than 40 is low and is considered a major risk factor because it increases your risk for developing heart disease. HDL levels of 60 or more help to lower your risk for heart disease.
Triglyceride levels that are borderline high (150-199) or high (200 or more) may require treatment in some people.
5) Can I Lower My Risk for Heart Disease If I Lower My Cholesterol?
Your risk for heart disease is lower when you have low total cholesterol and low LDL.
6) What Makes My Cholesterol Levels Go Up?
Eating foods such as meats, whole milk dairy products, egg yolks, and some kinds of fish can make your cholesterol levels go up. Being overweight can make your bad cholesterol go up and your good cholesterol go down. Also, after women go through menopause, their bad cholesterol levels tend to go up.
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