Understanding Cholesterol Numbers
Total cholesterol is a sum of your blood's cholesterol content.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is sometimes called the "good" cholesterol because it helps carry away LDL cholesterol, thus keeping arteries open and your blood flowing more freely.
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is sometimes called the "bad" cholesterol. Too much of it in your blood causes the buildup of fatty deposits (plaques) in your arteries (atherosclerosis), which reduces blood flow. These plaques sometimes rupture and can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Triglycerides are a type of fat in the blood. When you eat, your body converts any calories it doesn't need into triglycerides, which are stored in fat cells. High triglyceride levels are associated with several factors, including being overweight, eating too many sweets or drinking too much alcohol, smoking, being sedentary, or having diabetes with elevated blood sugar levels.
Cholesterol levels are measured in milligrams (mg) of cholesterol per deciliter (dL) of blood.
Total cholesterol Level
< 200 mg/dL Desirable
200 - 239 mg/dL Borderline High
> 240 mg/dL High
   
HDL cholesterol Level
< 40 mg/dL Poor
40 - 59 mg/dL Better
> 60 mg/dL Best
   
LDL cholesterol Level
< 70 mg/dL Best for people who have heart disease or diabetes
70 - 100 mg/dL Optimal for people at risk of heart disease
100 - 129 mg/dL Near optimal if there is no heart disease. High if there is heart disease
130 - 159 mg/dL Borderline high if there is no heart disease. High if there is heart disease
160 - 189 mg/dL High if there is no heart disease. Very high if there is heart disease
> 190 mg/dL Very high
     
Triglycerides Level
< 150 mg/dL Desirable
150 - 199 mg/dL Borderline High
200 - 499 mg/dL High
> 500 mg/dL Very High