Normal range of cholesterol levels and correct cholesterol levels
Know the numbers, own the numbers!

If your doctor actually sat down with you and explained in depth what normal range of cholesterol levels is, consider yourself lucky! More likely you'll be given vague information about "correct cholesterol levels" and left to your own devices to figure out what's what.

If you have high cholesterol levels and one of the causes (or contributing factors) is your weight, knowing the normal range cholesterol levels will help guide your weight loss efforts in the right direction.

normal range of cholesterol levels

High cholesterol and weight

It is said that 68% of all adults in the United States are overweight *1 or obese and that 1 in 5 Americans (107 million) have high cholesterol level. Though not the only cause of high cholesterol, increased weight contributes to it.

As you start losing weight and modifying cholesterol intake, cholesterol numbers start to change. This fluctuation can be better understood if you have a reference point and know what is desirable and what is not.

My own struggle with high cholesterol and weight loss resulted in my desire to learn more about it. I lowered my total cholesterol from 350 mg/dL to 259 mg/dL in 3 months. I learned a lot about food and the way body works. Here are the numbers you should keep in mind:

Correct cholesterol levels

Total cholesterol levels *2

Optimal - less than 200 mg/dL
Borderline high - 200-239 mg/dL
High - 240 mg/dL and over this value.

HDL Cholesterol levels

Lower risk - 60 mg/dL and over this value
Higher risk - less than 40 mg/dL.

LDL Cholesterol levels

Optimal - less than 100 mg/dL
Near/Above Optimal - 100-129 mg/dL
Borderline high - 130-159 mg/dL
High - 160-189 mg/dL
Very high - 190 mg/dL and over.

Don't forget triglycerides:

Normal - less than 150 mg/dL
Borderline high - 150-199 mg/dL
High - 200-499 mg/dL
Very high - 500 mg/dL or higher.

What did I know about normal range of cholesterol levels before I had my blood test done? Nothing! I figured, 350 is not that bad, right? Wrong!

To illustrate how naive I was, let me tell you about my cholesterol levels before my weight loss.

Total cholesterol - 350 mg/dL
HDL cholesterol - 49 mg/dL
LDL cholesterol - 261 mg/dL
Triglycerides - 199 mg/dL.

Prompted by my doctor to lose "at least 10% body weight," I was sent out of his office only knowing that 200 is the magic number I needed to reach. I was given 3 months or I would have to start medications.

Three months and 27 pounds less later, here are the numbers:

Total cholesterol - 259 mg/dL
HDL cholesterol - 41 mg/dL
LDL cholesterol - 189 mg/dL
Triglycerides - 147 mg/dL.

Oh, by the way... I don't need cholesterol medications :)

Getting myself familiar with normal range of cholesterol levels increased my weight loss motivation tremendously. Get to know the numbers and choose one of the programs from the list of weight loss programs to reach your goal. References:

*1 National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

*2 American Heart Association

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