What Do You Look for in a Cholesterol Report?

Regular readers know that I am a senior citizen and work at keeping up on my health. I get blood work done at least once a year and sometimes more often. This week was one of those times, so I thought it might help you to understand your cholesterol number more if I went over mine.

Here are my numbers from Tuesday.
CHOLESTEROL
197 Standard Range 0 – 200 mg/dL
TRIGLYCERIDES
46 Standard Range 50 – 150 mg/dL
HDL CHOLESTEROL
85 Standard Range >=40   mg/dL
LDL CHOL (CALC)
103 Standard Range 0 – 100 mg/dL
Non-HDL Cholesterol
112 Standard Range 0 – 130 mg/dL

As you can see from the standard ranges offered, I am on the high side for total cholesterol, but the main reason is that my HDL cholesterol – the good cholesterol – is so high.
Cholesterolin BloodstreamPhoto
Here is what WebMD says, “When it comes to HDL cholesterol — “good” cholesterol — the higher the number, the lower your risk. This is because HDL cholesterol protects against heart disease by taking the “bad” cholesterol out of your blood and keeping it from building up in your arteries. ”

My LDL cholesterol is just over the upper end of the standard range. WebMD says, “LDL cholesterol can build up on the walls of your arteries and increase your chances of getting heart disease. That is why LDL cholesterol is referred to as “bad” cholesterol. The lower your LDL cholesterol number, the lower your risk.”

My triglycerides are below the normal range which is healthy. WebMD says, “Triglycerides are the chemical form in which most fat exists in food and the body. A high triglyceride level has been linked to higher risk of coronary artery disease.”

The non-HDL cholesterol number is simply the total cholesterol minus the HDL measurement. It is more relevant in patients with high triglycerides.

Regular readers know that I am a regular bike rider, averaging over 20 miles a day year ’round here in Chicago. Last year I pedalled 8433 miles. In addition to my regular exercise, I also pretty much focus on a Mediterranean Diet. You can type that subject into the search box at the right to read lots more on the value of Mediterrarean eating. Lastly, I would like to add that several months ago I got very interested in coconut oil and have included at least three tablespoons of the oil into my diet daily since then. You can read Why should I try coconut oil? from April. Clearly, this saturated fat has much to recommend it in view of my cholesterol numbers.

Tony

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Filed under cholesterol, HDL Cholesterol, LDL Cholesterol, Weight

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