Normal cholesterol and triglyceride levels are necessary for good health. In higher than normal numbers, cholesterol and triglycerides can lead to chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and strokes.
Measuring Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels
Cholesterol and triglyceride levels are measured through a blood test. The test results measure these fats in units of milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) of blood.
Normal Total Cholesterol Levels
Total cholesterol readings lower than 200 mg/dL are considered optimal by health care professionals.
Normal HDL and LDL
Doctors advise keeping low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels under 100 mg/dL to lower the risk of heart disease and strokes. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels of 40 to 50 mg/dL for men and 50 to 60 mg/dL for women are considered desirable. High levels of HDL (60 mg/dL and above) are believed to offer protection against heart disease.
Normal Triglyceride Levels
Triglyceride levels lower than 150 mg/dL, tested after an overnight food and alcohol fast, are considered normal by most doctors. Genetic factors, high carbohydrate intake, and lack of physical activity may contribute towards higher levels of the lipid.
The American Heart Association states that, total cholesterol counts lower than 200 mg/dL, in combination with favorable HDL, LDL, and triglyceride levels, decreases the risk of coronary heart disease.