What Is Good Cholesterol Level?

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There are four cholesterol readings to look for in blood test results: total cholesterol, HDL levels, LDL levels and triglycerides, which are often abbreviated TGs. In the United States, cholesterol is measured in milligrams per deciliter of blood, or mg/dL.

There are four cholesterol readings to look for in blood test results.
There are four cholesterol readings to look for in blood test results. (Image: Fuse/Fuse/Getty Images)

Total Cholesterol

Your total blood cholesterol level should be lower than 200 mg/dL. Anything higher than 200 mg/dL indicates a higher risk for coronary disease.

Your total blood cholesterol level should be below 200 mg/dL.
Your total blood cholesterol level should be below 200 mg/dL. (Image: angellodeco/iStock/Getty Images)

HDL

HDL stands for high-density lipoprotein. It is the good cholesterol that can help lower your risk of heart disease. Optimal HDL readings are above 60 mg/dL.

HDL stands for high-density lipoprotein.
HDL stands for high-density lipoprotein. (Image: Tan Wei Ming/iStock/Getty Images)

LDL

LDL is the bad cholesterol that is often associated with heart disease. People who are already at risk for heart disease should try to keep their LDL levels below 100 mg/dL. Most other people are safe with an LDL reading of up to 130 mg/dL.

LDL is the bad cholesterol.
LDL is the bad cholesterol. (Image: AlexRaths/iStock/Getty Images)

Triglycerides

Triglycerides are fats that are in your blood. A normal reading is less than 150 mg/dL.

Triglycerides are fats that are in your blood.
Triglycerides are fats that are in your blood. (Image: AndreyPopov/iStock/Getty Images)

Taking Control

You can improve your blood cholesterol levels by changing your lifestyle. Exercise and a healthy diet are often the first steps. If your cholesterol levels are very high, your doctor might recommend medication as well.

Exercise and a healthy diet are ways to improve your blood cholesterol.
Exercise and a healthy diet are ways to improve your blood cholesterol. (Image: YanLev/iStock/Getty Images)

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