Cholesterol is basically a waxy steroid metabolite which is found in the cell membranes and is transported via the blood plasma. Cholesterol is an essential structural component of cell membranes and is also crucial to establish proper fluidity and membrane permeability. Additionally cholesterol is also required by the body for the production of bile acids, fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin D, vitamin A, Vitamin K and Vitamin E and also for steroid hormones. Cholesterol also plays an essential role in maintaining the overall good health of the individual’s heart. In fact high blood cholesterol level sis one of the major risk factors for stroke and coronary heart disease.
Hence it is essential for people to monitor their cholesterol levels so that they have normal cholesterol levels at all times and thus prevent and control several life threatening medical issues.
The most common measurement of blood cholesterol is total blood cholesterol which is measured in milligrams per deciliter of blood i.e.mg/dl. Blood cholesterol levels in adults are classified into various levels. Before deciding the ideal cholesterol levels or ideal cholesterol ratio for a particular individual the doctor should also consider other risk factors or influencing factors pertaining to that individual such as gender, race, family history, age, physical inactivity, smoking, obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. The normal cholesterol level chart will indicate that cholesterol levels that are less than 200 mg/dl are desirable as it puts the individual at a lower risk for coronary heart disease whereas a higher reading would increase the risk of the same in that individual. Similarly HDL (High Density Lipoproteins) levels should also be maintained at 60 mg/dl and above as it is considered to be protective against heart disease. Similarly one should also monitor their LDL or low density lipoprotein levels as an LDL of less than 100 mg/dl is considered to be optimal and safe. Many people who suffer from diabetes or heart disease tend to have high triglyceride levels. Triglyceride is one of the most common types of fat present in the body. The ideal or normal levels of triglyceride usually vary on the basis of the individual’s sex and age. Triglyceride levels along with cholesterol levels should be monitored as a high triglyceride level combined with high LDL cholesterol or low HDL cholesterol is known to speed up the buildup of fatty deposits on the arterial walls thereby causing arteriosclerosis, heart diseases and stroke. A normal cholesterol level chart will always recommend increasing the levels of HDL or good cholesterol by maintaining a healthy weight, indulging in some physical activity and avoiding smoking and alcohol. Similarly a cholesterol diet menu is recommended to be followed by the individual to lower the bad cholesterol levels naturally.
A good cholesterol diet menu will include all those foods that raise the HDL levels which is good cholesterol that stops the buildup and blockage in the arteries and will exclude those foods that raise the levels of LDL or bad cholesterol which is the main cause of heart disease. Foods such as oatmeal, oat bran, nuts like walnuts, peanuts, almonds, pistachios etc, fish and omega -3 fatty acids rich foods like flaxseeds, olive oil, canola are considered to be excellent in maintaining optimum levels of cholesterol. Omega- 3 fatty acids are known to be beneficial in lowering cholesterol and also improving the health of the heart as they lower the risk of high blood pressure and also blood clots. On the other hand the cholesterol diet menu will exclude foods such as crackers, cookies, cakes and other such commercially available baked products along with foods like egg yolks, organ meats and whole milk products.
Most people are aware of the term “cholesterol” and have some idea of how bad it is for the human body. However, the information that most people have on the subject is incomplete. Moreover, earlier on, the problem of high cholesterol was mainly associated with the aging process and until a few years ago, it was considered as a health hazard that only older people suffered from. However, in the recent times, there have been several instances of people who are in their mid 20’s or 30’s suffering from heart attacks and other heart related problems. The instances of heart attacks in younger people are increasing every year and one of the main causes of this problem is an increase in the cholesterol levels, due to unhealthy lifestyles and eating habits. Several heart-related problems can be avoided, by learning what the ideal cholesterol levels in the body should be and how to keep the cholesterol levels in the normal range.
Normal cholesterol levels
Most of us hear of how important it is for us to check if our cholesterol levels are normal, on a regular basis, especially as we age. However, if you try to check what the normal cholesterol level range in people is, you may be a bit confused with some of the contradictory reports that you hear. This is because there are eighteen different types of cholesterol that are found within the human body. However, for the sake of understanding, these eighteen types of cholesterol have been divided into two broad categories. You may hear health experts talk about “Good Cholesterol” and “Bad Cholesterol”. In medical terms, the good cholesterol is known as High Density Lipoprotein or HDL & the bad cholesterol is called Low Density Lipoprotein or LDL.
Since most of us have always considered cholesterol to be bad for the body, the concept of good cholesterol can throw just about anybody off. In fact, some individuals have also stated that after undergoing a test to check their cholesterol levels and analyze if they are at a high risk for heart diseases or not, they were told that though their “bad cholesterol” was within the normal range, they were still at a high risk for heart problems, because their “good cholesterol” levels were lower than what they should be. This means that maintaining low cholesterol levels in the body is not enough; people should know what the ideal cholesterol levels ratio is and strive to achieve that. Cholesterol ratios are used to predict what the risks of heart diseases in a person are. HDL cholesterol ratio is calculated by dividing your total cholesterol reading by the reading of your HDL cholesterol. While the ideal HDL cholesterol levels ratio in people is 3.5:1. However, these figures may vary, depending on several factors. It is best to refer to a detailed normal cholesterol level chart, to know what the exact desirable ratio is.
Cholesterol chart for men and women
When you undergo a test to determine your cholesterol levels, the results will have 4 different values: total cholesterol, HDL, LDL and triglycerides. The values in a cholesterol level chart are measured in milligrams (mg) of cholesterol, per deciliter of blood (dl). According to the cholesterol levels chart followed in the United States of America and a few other countries, the normal cholesterol level are as mentioned below:
Total cholesterol chart
• Desirable: Below 200 mg/ dl
• Borderline: Between 200 and 239 mg/ dl
• High: 240 mg/ dl and above
LDL cholesterol chart
• Desirable for very high risk people: Below 70 mg/ dl
• Desirable for high risk people: Below 100 mg/ dl
• Ideal: Between 100 and 129 mg/ dl
• Borderline: Between 130 and 159 mg/ dl
• High: Between 169 and 189 mg/ dl
• Very high: 190 mg/ dl and above
HDL cholesterol chart
• Poor: Below 40 mg/ dl (in men) and below 50 mg/ dl (in women)
• Borderline: Between 50 and 59 mg/ dl
• Ideal: 60 mg/ dl and above
• Desirable: Below 150 mg/ dl
• Borderline: Between 150 and 199 mg/ dl
• High: Between 200 and 499 mg/ dl
• Very high: 500 mg/ dl and above
The ideal cholesterol levels normal for men may not always be the same, as the recommended cholesterol levels normal for women, in all parameters. Therefore, it is best to consult a doctor or a heart specialist for a detailed cholesterol chart for men and women.
As people grow older, they are supposed to increase their levels of HDL and decrease LDL. In fact, since a person’s age is a major influential factor in his or her cholesterol levels, it is best to get a cholesterol level chart by age from a doctor. Since some children are also at a high risk due to obesity or genetic problems, parents should consult a specialist to obtain a cholesterol chart for kids. It is also possible to get a cholesterol chart by age through online resources.
Cholesterol chart food
As the cholesterol level chart for men and women highlights the ideal levels of cholesterol that should be maintained by people, there is a cholesterol food chart too, which depicts the cholesterol count in various food items. Moreover, a cholesterol chart for food is very helpful in letting people know which foods contain a healthy measure of HDL in them. Moreover, there are different cholesterols charts, for each food item, for example, a cholesterol chart for meat, seafood, bakery items, eggs and so on. Most plant based foods do not contain any cholesterol (unless they are fried or cooked in fat).
Cholesterol chart for meat
• Chicken – 90 milligrams of cholesterol per 100 grams
• Salami – 80 milligrams of cholesterol per 100 grams
• Hamburger – 35 milligrams of cholesterol per 100 grams
• Meat stew – 35 milligrams of cholesterol per 100 grams
Cholesterol chart for seafood
• Cod fish – 500 milligrams of cholesterol per 100 grams
• Oysters – 40 milligrams of cholesterol per 100 grams
• Scallops – 30 milligrams of cholesterol per 100 grams
However, before adding or eliminating any of the food in cholesterol diet menu, it is important to know if they contain higher amounts of HDL or LDL.