A type of fat found in your blood. Your liver makes cholesterol for your body.
Cholesterol levels differ by age, weight, and gender. Over some time, a person’s body tends to generate more cholesterol, meaning that all adults should check their cholesterol levels routinely, ideally about every 4 to 6 years.
Cholesterol is measured in three levels:
- total cholesterol
- LDL, or ‘bad cholesterol”
- HDL, or ‘good cholesterol”
The problem for most people is balancing these levels. The total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels should always be lower. On the other hand, high HDL cholesterol levels offer protection against heat-related illnesses including heart attacks and strokes.
Cholesterol levels by age chart
Total cholesterol levels tend to grow with age. Doctors suggest taking measures earlier in life to stop dangerously high levels of cholesterol developing as a person ages. Years of unmanaged cholesterol can be more critical to treat.
How can I increase the cholesterol HDL ratio
Children are least likely to have high levels of cholesterol and only need to have their levels monitored once or twice before they are 18 years old.
However, if the child has risk factors for higher levels of cholesterol, they should get checked more frequently.
Typically, men tend to have higher levels of cholesterol throughout life than women. A man’s cholesterol levels generally increase as they age. However, women aren’t immune to high cholesterol. A woman’s cholesterol oftentimes grows when she goes through menopause.
Prescribed levels / normal cholesterol levels / cholesterol normal range/ cholesterol ratio
The normal cholesterol levels don’t vary much for adults. The variation of suggested levels tends to change due to other health conditions and considerations.
LDL cholesterol levels/ non HDL cholesterol
LDL means low-density lipoproteins. It is known as “bad cholesterol”. It is called so because it causes the mobilization of body cholesterol into the blood. So it raises the blood levels of cholesterol. It raises the risks of cholesterol plug formation in the walls of arteries, thus increasing the chances of heart and vascular diseases.
An individual’s cholesterol ratio is calculated by dividing the total cholesterol of the body by high-density lipoprotein (HDL) level. The normal cholesterol ratio is between 3.5 and 1.
- The total cholesterol range of 170-200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) is considered desirable for adults. A reading between 200 and 239 mg/dL is considered borderline high and a reading of 240 mg/dL and above is considered high.
LDL cholesterol levels
- is less than 100 mg/dL. Levels of 100 to 129 mg/dL are acceptable for people with no health issues but may be of more concern for those with heart disease or heart disease risk factors. A reading of 130 to 159 mg/dL is borderline high. LDL cholesterol high levels are between 160 to 189 mg/dL. A reading of 190 mg/dL or higher is considered very high.
HDL cholesterol levels
- HDL cholesterol levels should be kept higher. The normal HDL range is 40mg/dl or higher. A reading of less than 40 mg/dL is considered a major risk factor for heart disease. A reading from 41 mg/dL to 59 mg/dL is considered borderline HDL cholesterol low. The normal HDL range is 60 mg/dL or higher for older individuals
What are the Cholesterol levels for kids?
By contrast, satisfactory levels of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in kids are different.
total cholesterol range for kids
- An agreeable total cholesterol range for a child is less than 170 mg/dL. Borderline high total cholesterol for a child ranges from 170 to 199 mg/dL. Any reading of total cholesterol over 200 in a child is too high.
ldl cholesterol range
- A child’s LDL cholesterol levels should also be lower than an adult’s. The optimal LDL cholesterol range for a child is less than 110 mg/dL. Borderline high is from 110 to 129 mg/dl while high is over 130 mg/dL.
normal HDL range
- A child’s HDL cholesterol levels must be more than 45 mg/dl according to the cholesterol levels by age chart. They must have their first cholesterol test between 9 to 11 years. Your child should have a test again every 5 years.
Causes of High Cholesterol Levels in the body
Your lifestyle habits, unhealthy behaviors have an important impact on the cholesterol levels of your body. Your unhealthy habits and behaviors that are among the important causes of high cholesterol levels are:
- Unhealthy diet, diet rich in fats and having less fiber
- Lack of physical activity
- Smoking or exposure to tobacco smoke
- Excess weight
Your body naturally produces LDL(bad) cholesterol according to its need. Excess weight, not having enough exercise, and eating fatty foods causes your body to have LDL cholesterol high levels due to increased production. So, the LDL to HDL ratio is increased and you have an increased risk of heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
LDL cholesterol high-level effects on the body
High LDL cholesterol levels can put you at risk on
- Coronary artery disease or Atherosclerosis
- Peripheral artery disease
- Heart diseases, including chest pain (angina) and heart attacks
HDL cholesterol low-level effects on the body
Studies have shown that a low level of HDL cholesterol is associated with a particularly higher risk of death from cardiovascular causes. Also, a higher risk of death from cancer and other causes is seen in people with low levels of HDL. Moreover, the increasing heart attacks in the younger population are due to low body levels of HDL.
What is a normal LDL to HDL ratio
An LDL to HDL ratio of less than 2.5 is normal. However, the ratio of 2.6 and higher is a warning sign especially for people who are suffering from heart disease or have a family history of increased blood levels of cholesterol.
The best advice for children and adults is living a healthy, active lifestyle. This includes eating a healthy diet and taking plenty of exercise.
Foods to lower cholesterol fast/Cholesterol good foods
Changing your eating habits can help you a lot in gaining a normal HDL to LDL ratio. Having foods to lower cholesterol fastly not only helps you in maintaining the body cholesterol levels but also improves your gastrointestinal activity. So, the cholesterol good foods are
- Barley and other whole grains
- Eggplant and okra
- Vegetable oils
- Apples, strawberries, grapes
- Fiber supplements
- Fatty fish
- Orange juice and chocolate
Foods that higher cholesterol
Foods that are high in cholesterol content and must be avoided include;
- fatty meat products
- dairy products including milk, cheese, cream, and yogurt
- fried fast foods
- processed foods
- hamburgers and pizza
- coconut oil.
- baked goods such as pastries, pies, cakes, and biscuits
Quiet, overweight children who eat a diet high in processed foods are most likely to have high LDL cholesterol. Children who have a family history of high cholesterol may also be in more danger.
Commonly, the earlier an adult starts living a healthy lifestyle, the better for their cholesterol levels. These levels build over time. A sudden change in lifestyle will help eventually, but the older a person is, the less impact they will see in cholesterol levels.
All adults should stay active and maintain regular exercise routines. Women going through menopause and adults with high levels of cholesterol may want to consider medication that will help reduce cholesterol levels more rapidly than diet alone.
High cholesterol at any age puts a person at risk for heart disease, heart attack, and strokes. These risks only increase over time, especially for adults who are not taking action to reduce their cholesterol buildup.
Children should see a doctor for cholesterol checks once or twice before the age of 18 but not during puberty. If the child grows in a family that has a history of heart disease or is overweight or has other health conditions, the recommendation may vary.
Adults over the age of 20 should see a doctor every 4 to 6 years. For adults without any health concerns, this is generally enough.
When should you get a cholesterol test
Nonetheless, people should get a cholesterol test and seek a doctor’s help for treatment if:
- results of a cholesterol test come back with high or borderline high levels of total and LDL cholesterol
- they are overweight, they must go for a cholesterol test
- they have a family history of heart disease
How to get LDL levels normal
You can set up a plan of healthy lifestyle changes that lower down your cholesterol level. These include:
A healthy diet, regular exercise, weight loss, quitting tobacco, and some medications including statins can help bring you a normal LDL level. Try to eat fiber-rich foods, such as oatmeal and beans. Maintain a normal weight of your body according to BMI.
How to get good HDL levels
The tips to get a good HDL level are the same as that of lowering your serum LDL levels. Exercise seems to play a vital role in raising your blood HDL levels. Secondly stuck to a healthy diet. Eat foods rich in unsaturated fats. For example, avocado, olive oil, and nuts. Reduce the intake of carbohydrates, especially sugar.
Best options for treatment
There are methods that people can use to reduce higher cholesterol levels and prevent them from raising. One potential method is to use therapeutic lifestyle changes (TLC), which involves diet and weight management, and exercise, Another option is the drug therapies that either lower LDL to HDL ratio or decrease the absorption of cholesterol, thus decreasing total cholesterol levels
At any age, diets low in saturated fats and trans fats and high in soluble fibers and protein are cholesterol good foods. These foods help in maintaining an adequate cholesterol range.
The TLC diet is a low-saturated-fat and low-cholesterol eating plan. People who are following it should have a daily intake of less than 7 percent of calories from saturated fat and less than 200 milligrams of dietary cholesterol. The TLC diet encourages people to eat the following foods:
- whole grains
- skinless poultry
- low-fat or nonfat dairy products
Plus, the TLC diet suggests the only intake of enough calories to maintain a desirable weight and avoidance of weight gain. Increasing the intake of a diet containing soluble fibers and the food that contains naturally occurring substances, such as some kinds of margarine can also boost the diet’s LDL-lowering power.
Proper weight management is another vital part of lowering high cholesterol levels and preventing it from building up. Overweight people who reduce their weight can help get their LDL levels normal during the process.
Losing weight is especially important for those with a group of risk factors that includes:
- LDL cholesterol high
- HDL cholesterol low
- overweight men with a waist measurement of more than 40 inches
- overweight women with a waist measurement of more than 35 inches
Regular physical activity of 30 minutes on most days is suggested for everyone to help maintain normal cholesterol levels. This will also help with weight control, which in turn helps with lowering cholesterol. It is especially important to increase HDL cholesterol levels.
Recommended Cholesterol-lowering drugs
When these steps fail in controlling the higher cholesterol levels, then the drug treatment is needed. There are different types of drugs that help in maintaining normal cholesterol levels. These include:
Statins: These drugs block the liver from producing cholesterol. In this way, the total cholesterol level in blood is reduced
Bile acid sequestrants: These drugs reduce the amount of fat absorbed from food and help to maintain good cholesterol levels
Cholesterol absorption inhibitors: These drugs lower triglycerides in the blood and reduce the amount of total cholesterol absorbed from food.
Some vitamins and supplements: such as Niacin stops the liver from removing HDL, and lower triglycerides. Thus raising the HDL levels and decreasing the LDL cholesterol levels
Omega-3 fatty acids: These acids increase the HDL levels and lower triglycerides. There is a wide range of Omega-3 fatty acids that is available online.
The most suitable treatment to lower the higher cholesterol levels involves a variety of different methods, including diet and lifestyle. Ultimately, you must talk to your doctor to find the most trustworthy way for a person to lower LDL cholesterol levels.