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Your Cholesterol Levels

By Ken MacKenzie

As part of your regular checkup, it is likely that the
doctor will order bloodwork that among other things will
measure your levels of total cholesterol and also High
Density Lipoproteins (HDL). Should the numbers show outside
of the normal range, your doctor may ask for a fasting
cholesterol test. For this, you won't eat or drink other
than water for twelve hours prior to the test. This test
will show your Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) and
triglyceride levels, in addition to the total cholesterol
and HDL.

The National Cholesterol Education Program has presented
goal cholesterol levels, which are as follows:

Total Cholesterol Level (mg/dl)
Desirable: Below 200
Borderline: 200-239
Undesirable: 240 and above

LDL Cholesterol (mg/dl)
Desirable: Below 100
Above Average: 100-129
Borderline: 130-159
Undesirable: 160-189
Very Undesirable: 190 and above

HDL Cholesterol (mg/dl)
Desirable: Above 60
Borderline: 40-60
Undesirable: Below 40

Serum Triglycerides (mg/dl)
Normal: Below 150
Borderline: 150-199
Undesirable: 200-499
Very Undesirable: 500 or above

Some laboratories will calculate the cholesterol ratio
(total/HDL), but it is far more important to get the
individual numbers for the total cholesterol, HDL and LDL.
Notice that lower numbers are desirable for everything
except HDL. The high density lipoproteins are known as good
cholesterol. If your HDL levels are lower than 40 mg/dl, you
can increase them by

Quitting smoking
Losing weight
Getting physically active for at least 30-60 minutes per

Your cholesterol levels, along with your other risk factors
will determine the course of action that your physician will
recommend. Some of these risk factors are
Family history
Lack of physical activity
Alcohol consumption
Body shape

Some of these factors you have no control over, such as age,
family history and sex. But you need to take care of
business with the others. Quitting smoking is a given.
Adding exercise to your daily schedule can help you with
multiple factors, including reducing weight, reducing stress
and lowering cholesterol levels. Watch your diet by eating
less saturated fats and trans fats.

Another alternative treatment method is medication. There
are many to choose from, prescription and
non-prescription, but there may be side effects or they may
react unfavorably with other medicines that you are taking.
Be sure to check with your physician before trying any of

Make sure to check with your physician before starting any
new diet or exercise regimen.

Copyright 2005, K. MacKenzie

[ You have permission to publish this article in your web
sites, newsletters, ezines or electronic publications, as
long as the complete article is used including the resource
box, all links (clickable) and copyright information. ]

About the author:
Ken is a successful writer and online entrepreneur. He has developed http://www.lower-your-cholesterol.netas a portal for presenting articles, information, resources and links about lowering your cholesterol.

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