Cholesterol’s a tough subject, but it doesn’t have to be. Knowing your average cholesterol level is essential to your well-being now and in the future. What exactly is cholesterol, you ask? Well, it’s a fat-like, waxy substance found in your body’s cells. Your liver makes cholesterol, and it’s located in some foods such as dairy and meat. Cholesterol is essential to your body, and it needs it to function. However, too much cholesterol in your blood may put you at risk for coronary artery disease. Read on to find out more on aspects that affect cholesterol levels, and what is a normal cholesterol level.

Different Levels and Cholesterol Types

There are also different types of cholesterol, such as:

  • Total cholesterol – includes LDL and HDL. The total amount of cholesterol in the blood;
  • LDL (bad) cholesterol – known as low density; the primary cause of artery blockage and build-up.
  • HDL (good) cholesterol – known as high density; removes cholesterol from arteries.
  • Non-HDL cholesterol— total cholesterol without HDL.
  • Triglycerides— a different type of fat found in the blood; can raise the risk for heart disease, mostly in women.

Depending on your gender and age, there are different levels considered healthy.

Normal levels for men:

  • HDL: 40mg/dL or more
  • LDL: 100mg/dL or less
  • Non-HDL: 130mg/dL or less
  • Total Cholesterol: 125 to 200mg/dL

Normal levels for women:

  • HDL: 50mg/dL or higher
  • LDL: Less than 100mg/dL
  • Non-HDL: Less than 130mg/DL
  • Total Cholesterol: 125 to 200mg/dL

The main difference is the HDL as women tend to have a higher normal rate than men (40mg/dL vs 50mg/dL).

Factors That Influence Cholesterol Levels

There are many ways your cholesterol levels can fluctuate, and it’s due to factors that have power over, or none at all. Some factors that contribute to cholesterol levels include:

  • Cigarette smoking: Smoking lowers good (HDL) cholesterol, which leads to an increase in bad (LDL) cholesterol as HDL removes LDL.
  • Overweight: Your weight has a lot to do your risk factor for heart disease, and increases cholesterol. Losing weight, however, lowers bad cholesterol and increases the good cholesterol.
  • Working out: Whether it’s walking, running, or any physical activity, it raises good cholesterol and reduces bad cholesterol.
  • Gender and Maturity: Older people tend to have higher cholesterol levels. Post-menopausal women have more elevated LDL (bad) cholesterol than men.
  • Background: Your race may contribute to different cholesterol levels. For example, African Americans tend to have higher cholesterol than Caucasians.
  • Genes: Your DNA may influence your cholesterol levels. High cholesterol tends to run in the family.

Need More Help? Ask Us!

Ensuring your cholesterol levels are healthy is crucial for your well-being.

If you need help or would like more information about normal cholesterol levels, reach out and contact us 508.650.6208