There is a tendency more or less inclined to believe that by avoiding eggs, fried foods and other saturated fats, we can live without paying too much attention to our cholesterol levels.
The truth is that once we start our adult life, doctors recommend measuring our cholesterol levels at least once a year, through blood tests.
Contrary to what you may think, these tests not only measure cholesterol, but a lot of other components that flow in our blood (and in which you probably have not repaired), which greatly influence our health status.
Discover everything you need to know to have correct cholesterol levels.
Factors to measure cholesterol
You may see yourself as a very healthy person. If you have good habits like sports and follow a diet low in fat or carbohydrates. There may be your first mistake: cholesterol goes beyond your habits. If you have a family history with heart disease, diabetes or a similar factor, it is important to take care of your cholesterol levels, especially those of the LDL group (low density) and triglycerides.
In medicine these levels are measured with a study called lipid profile. It is so known because this study not only focuses on the level of cholesterol, but takes into account other factors that affect the body, such as fat and blood pressure.
What information does a lipid profile provide?
- Low density cholesterol (LDL).
- High density cholesterol (HDL).
- General cholesterol
LDL cholesterol is the “bad”. The HDL, the “good”. Triglycerides are the sum of fats obtained in the daily intake. Finally, the numbers thrown by these three factors will measure your general cholesterol.
As general principles: it is best to reduce LDL and look for natural sources of triglycerides and HDL cholesterol. Therefore, you should stay away as much as possible from processed fats.
How much cholesterol is healthy?
Surely you’ve already heard that there is “good” cholesterol and “bad” cholesterol. The LDL, as we have already said, is the one you should take care of the most.
However, there are referential measures that a healthy adult can use as a guide.
- Less than 100 mg / dL (milligrams per deciliter of blood) = optimal level.
- From 101 to 129 mg / dl = almost optimal.
- From 130 to 159 mg / dl = near the high risk line.
- From 160 to 189 mg / dl = high risk.
- More than 190 mg / dl = very high risk.
When it comes to consuming good cholesterol (HDL), the more you consume, the better you will function. In fact, you will run health risks in these cases:
- If you are male, and consume less than 40 mg / dL of HDL cholesterol.
- If you are a woman, and you consume less than 50 mg / dl of HDL cholesterol.
- If you are male or female and consume less than 60 mg / dL of HDL cholesterol, you will be at greater risk of developing heart disease.
- Less than 150 mg / dl = normal.
- 151-199 mg / dl = near the high-risk line.
- 200-499 mg / dl = high risk.
- More than 500 mg / dl = very high risk.
As we have said, the sum of the 3 factors above will determine that you have good levels of general cholesterol. The scale to determine your correct levels is obtained by multiplying your triglyceride levels by 2. That is, if your triglyceride intake is 135, your general cholesterol level will be 270 (135 x 2 = 270).
The general cholesterol base levels are these:
- Less than 200 mg / dl = optimal.
- 201-239 mg / dl = close to the high risk line.
- More than 240 mg / dl = in the high risk line.
How to control cholesterol levels?
Whether you do sports regularly or just someone who eats well, and you still feel that your cholesterol levels are not correct, you should go to a nutritionist. Doing a general check can determine if there are external factors that harm you.
If you are sensitive to cholesterol due to your family’s medical history, medications may also be of great help to you, such as statins, anticoagulants, or cholesterol absorption inhibitors.
On the other hand, a good diet and exercise will always be the best. Start by:
- Create a constant training routine that works a lot on cardio.
- Reinforce your eating habits.
- Visit the nutritionist at least three times a year.
As a final tip, try to include foods high in HDL cholesterol in your diet, such as the following:
- Blue Fish.
- Olive oil.
By making these changes, and with constant blood studies, you will make sure you are much healthier.