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What should my LDL Levels be?

What should my LDL Levels be?

The ideal levels of LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) have changed over the years. Today the published recommendations are as follows:

LDL Cholesterol Levels 

  • 100 to 129 mg/dL Near or Above Optimal
  • 130 to 159 mg/dL Borderline High
  • 160 to 189 mg/dL High
  • 190 mg/dL and above Very High

If your risk factors are high or if you’ve been diagnosed with heart disease, your target levels are a bit different: 

  • Less than 70 mg/dL = Optional goal if you’re at very high risk of a heart attack or death from heart attack.
  • Less than 100 mg/dL = Optimal for people with heart disease or diabetes. 

 

If you want to lower your LDL cholesterol or raise your HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol), the same advice applies: 

  1. Eat Healthy
    Whole, plant-based, unprocessed foods high in fiber and antioxidants and low in saturated and trans fats will help raise your HDL and lower your LDL. But not all fats are bad – omega 3 fatty acids, which are commonly found in fish, nuts, seeds, olive oils and avocados – help improve cholesterol and heart health in general. Adding phytosterols to your diet can lower your LDL an additional 10-15%.
  1. Exercise
    Doing at least a half hour per day is the goal, but ANY activity is good. Eating responsibly, exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight will result in a better cholesterol profile and a healthier heart.

Learn more about how to lower cholesterol

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