Cholesterol assists the body in repairing cell membranes and building vitamin D. However, high cholesterol has been associated with heart attack and stroke, according to David W. Brooks from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. According to Harvard Health Publications, your total cholesterol levels should stay below 200. Your total cholesterol can be found if you know your high-density lipoprotein level (HDL), low-density lipoprotein level (LDL) and your triglyceride levels.
Obtain your HDL, LDL and triglyceride levels from your doctor. These levels can be found using a blood test.
Divide the triglyceride levels by 5. For example, if your triglyceride level equals 100, you would divide 100 by 5 to get 20.
Add your LDL cholesterol level to your triglycerides. So if your LDL level equals 80, you would add 80 to 20 to get 100.
Add your HDL level to the result from Step 3 to get your total cholesterol. So if your HDL level equals 40, you would add 40 to 100 to find your total cholesterol equals 140.