Cholesterol Advice

What is The Ideal Cholesterol Level?

The ideal cholesterol level differs for men and women. There may also be a relationship between age, heredity and lifestyle. The ideal cholesterol level is a benchmark of sorts that helps to monitor and control the level of cholesterol in our blood.

Cholesterol is a waxy substance that serves certain functions in the body. It helps the body maintain cell membrane structure, boost mental performance, regulate blood sugar and plays a role in a host of other functions. The body internally produces whatever cholesterol is required and there is very little that is required in the form of diet.

An excess of cholesterol in our blood is deposited in the walls of the arteries in the form of a plaque and can result in the constriction of the artery and reduced blood flow. This condition known as atherosclerosis is a harbinger of heart disease and is an unhealthy situation. The level of cholesterol in our blood should be monitored closely.

The ideal cholesterol level is different for LDL (low density lipoprotein) and high density lipoprotein or HDL. The first type of cholesterol is considered as bad cholesterol and the second as good cholesterol. The ideal level of HDL cholesterol is a minimum of 40 mg/dl. Anything above that is favorable. On the other hand, the ideal level of LDL cholesterol is less than 200mg/dl. Anything above that up to 240 mg/dl is an indication of moderate cardiovascular risk. A reading above 240 mg/dl indicates high cardiovascular risk.

There are a number of home kits that provide a fairly accurate indication of blood cholesterol levels. A blood lipid profile is a more accurate pathological test that provides a rounded and statistical indication of risk of cardiovascular disease.

If you are a male above 35 and  lead a sedentary life, then you should get your blood cholesterol level checked to evaluate your risk of cardiovascular disease.