Health & Wellness
Your Cholesterol
  • Your Cholesterol

Your Cholesterol: Cholesterol Measurement and Education

The following provides an appropriate interpretation of cholesterol screening results, including a caution that a single measurement neither excludes nor establishes a diagnosis of their blood cholesterol.

Follows national guidelines:

Total Cholesterol
Below 200 mg/dl Desirable Cholesterol
200-239 mg/dl Borderline Cholesterol
240 mg/dl or greater High Cholesterol
LDL - Cholesterol Levels (Bad Cholesterol)
Less than 100mg/dl Optimal
100-129 mg/dl Near Optimal/Above Optimal
130-159 mg/dl Borderline High
160-189 mg/dl High
190 md/dl and above Very High
Note: These categories apply to adults age 20 and above.
HDL - Cholesterol Levels (Good Cholesterol)
40 md/dl and above Desirable HDL
39 md/dl or lower Low HDL

Referral of cholesterol screening participants to medical care as follows: 

Below 200 mg/dl Recheck cholesterol in five years, if history of coronary heart
disease or if two or more CHD risk factors are detected refers to
risk reduction program or health professionals, as appropriate
200-239 mg/dl If history of CHD or if two or more other risk factors are detected,
refer to medical care or risk reduction service within two months;
if no reported history of CVD or less than two other risk factors,
reassess cholesterol status within 1-2 years.
240 mg/dl or greater Refer to medical care within two months.

39 md/dl or lower

If fewer than 2 risk factors and borderline total cholesterol,
refer to risk reduction service, as appropriate – reassess HDL
in 1-2 years. 

If the total blood cholesterol number is higher than 200, or if your HDL is lower than 39, your doctor may order blood tests to check your LDL cholesterol level. The test will let you know if you need treatment. Take charge and work with your health provider to lower your risk.

The relationship of blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, and other risk factors can lead to the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Other Risk Factors Include:

  • High Blood Pressure 140/90 or higher
  • Hypertension Medication
  • Family History of Premature CHD
  • Cigarette Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • High Fat and Unhealthy Diet
  • Lack of Exercise

Lowering Cholesterol

Healthy diet choices and exercise are the first line of defense against high LDL cholesterol. Fatty and processed foods can elevate LDL cholesterol, whereas certain other foods can reduce it. Knowing which foods to avoid and which to include will not only improve cholesterol levels but will improve overall health as well.

  • eat a healthy diet low in saturated fats and trans fats
    • use lower fat dairy or cheese instead of regular version
    • trim visible fats from meats
    • cook with canola, olive, or peanut oils
  • include high-fiber foods such as whole grains, oatmeal, and fruits
  • limit sugar intake such as pop, Kool-aid, and other sweetened beverages
  • limit alcohol to maximum 1 drink a day
  • include Omega 3: rich foods such as Salmon, Fish Oils, and Flax seed
  • do not over-eat; watch portion size when eating out

Physical activity is also an excellent strategy for reducing LDL cholesterol.

If diet and exercise strategies are unsuccessful in reducing levels of LDL cholesterol, a cholesterol-reducing drug may be prescribed.