“There are few things that humble me more than my complete and utter buffoonery when it comes to HDL lipidology…” – Peter Attia
“It’s true of all of us.” – Thomas Dayspring (Attia, 2020)
Thomas Dayspring is a nationally recognized lipidologist. That means he’s an expert on cholesterol, fat, and oil metabolism. And Peter Attia is no slouch in this area. If you’d like to spend a few hours hearing cutting-edge concepts in this area, try listening to episodes 20-24 of Attia’s podcast “THE DRIVE.”
But be warned; that video is very technical. Less than 600 people have started even one of these podcasts. We can only guess how many finished the full 5 hours. I did.
Some information wasn’t that new. For example, Attia and Dayspring mentioned that the Framingham study indicates that TG/HDL (triglycerides over HDL ratio) is 5 times more predictive of heart attack risk than LDL.
They also mentioned that lipoprotein particles pass both cholesterol and fatty acids around like hot potatoes. A few of their concepts also seemed to contradict some basics mentioned later in this article.
Why would I focus this article on such simple concepts?
Because the basics of triglycerides and HDL are critical to health. But the complicated version just isn’t understandable, let alone actionable.
I did a simple version of the TG/HDL in a video 3 years ago. It was one of our popular videos.
Many people told me the information saved their lives. Chuck Smith is one of those people.
Chuck Smith’s story
Chuck is a business owner living in Cocoa Beach, Florida. He saw Caldwell Esselstyn for his preventive care. He lost 50 pounds on Esselstyn’s low-fat diet.
Then Chuck had a heart attack. It happened while Chuck was traveling on US Highway 1 in his Tesla at 55 mph. Chuck had nitro pills in his back seat. So he put the Tesla on autopilot, driving him to the hospital. Meanwhile, he fumbled in the back seat for some nitro tabs, which he spilled on the floor.
During his recovery, Chuck investigated how he could have a heart attack after losing 50 pounds. He found my channel. He was one of 60,000 people that watched my video on the basics of TG/HDL.
He measured his own TG/HDL. It was 5. It had been as high as 7. So he switched his diet from low fat to low carb.
Two years later, he lost 20 more pounds. His TG/HDL is now routinely 1 or less. His heart attack risk has plummeted. His artery scan has improved. His cardiovascular (CV) inflammation panel is perfect. And he’s ready for another 50 years of healthy living.
Watch Chuck’s full story here.
The rest of this article will ask and answer a few basic questions about the TG/HDL.
What is triglyceride?
Triglycerides (TG) are fats. Each triglyceride molecule contains 3 fatty acid molecules held together by a glycerol molecule. Fatty acids are fats, while glycerol is a carbohydrate.
The image below of triglyceride components is from Chemistry Libre Texts.
What are good blood levels of TG?
Target TG levels between 100 and 200 mg/dL (or about 1 to 2 mmol/L) are usually considered borderline. Lower levels are optimal. Some disease states feature TG levels over 500 mg/dL or 5.7 mmol/L.
Why is there TG in the blood?
The most common reason for elevated triglycerides is prediabetes. Chronically high insulin stimulates adipokines and hormone-sensitive lipase. This results in the release of too many fatty acids from fat cells. These excess fatty acids take up space in HDL and LDL particles.
TG can also become elevated in several inherited diseases.
What is HDL?
HDL is an acronym for high-density lipoprotein.
HDL particles are considered being responsible for bringing cholesterol from the body to be metabolized by the liver. That’s opposed to LDL or low-density lipoprotein which brings cholesterol to different parts of the body. That’s the reason some people are still calling LDL the “bad cholesterol” and HDL the “good cholesterol.”
This is an image of HDL from Biosciencenotes.com.
Will an improvement in HDL level lead to better health?
Yes. Improvement of HDL function improves arterial health (Chiesa 2019). How? By:
- Improving nitric oxide;
- Decreasing oxidase enzyme function;
- Decreasing adhesion molecules;
- Decreasing monocyte infiltration; and
- (Possibly) improving reverse cholesterol transport.
What is remnant cholesterol?
We’ve talked about TG, HDL, and a bit about LDL. There’s another thing we ought to cover—remnant cholesterol.
Remnant cholesterol (RC) is the most dangerous type of cholesterol particle. It’s also called triglyceride-rich lipoproteins (TGRLs), which consists primarily of VLDL (very low density lipoproteins) and IDL (intermediate density lipoproteins) (Dhindsa, 2019).
Image from the Cholesterol Code by Dave Feldman.
Remnant cholesterol is short-lived in the plasma of a healthy person. RC particles appear only briefly after a meal. They are then metabolized into other lipoproteins by the breakdown of triglycerides inside an RC particle. This breakdown is accomplished by lipoprotein lipase lining the luminal surface of capillaries.
RC is also higher in the serum of those with CV disease risk (around 15 mg/dL and above). It is calculated by subtracting LDL and HDL cholesterol levels from total cholesterol number (Feldman, 2020).
Do high TG levels affect HDL and LDL cholesterol levels?
The image below shows how LDLs and HDLs transport TG. It is from the National Lipid Association’s website, used with permission from Tom Dayspring (Lillo, 2020).
Here, an enzyme called CETP (cholesteryl ester transfer protein) facilitates the exchange of cholesterol in large HDL and large LDL with TG. What CETP does is it takes cholesterol out of large HDL and LDL particles and then transfers TG into these particles. In turn, hepatic (liver) lipase metabolizes TG-rich HDLs and LDLs, leading to smaller HDLs and LDLs.
In a nutshell, high TG levels affect HDL and LDL levels. And prediabetes leads to high TG levels.
Look at the image below showing what a lipid profile would look like in a patient with prediabetes.
- The patient has elevated TG levels (216 mg/dL), a low HDL cholesterol level (34 mg/dL), and a high LDL cholesterol level (139 mg/dL).
- There was a decrease in the size of HDLs. Normally, the HDL curve should be a smooth bell curve peaking where the red circle is drawn. Here, the large HDLs are taken out.
- There was also a decrease in the size of LDLs. Though the LDL has a good bell curve at the right, the curve’s peak shifted to the left. This means there are more smaller and denser LDLs. (We call this a B pattern LDL distribution.)
Aside from prediabetes, this patient actually has another problem—familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). Neither condition was noticed before the patient came to us.
To make matters worse, the patient also has an elevated TG/HDL—216/34 or 6.4! I recommend a goal of 1.5 or less.
What is the TG/HDL?
TG/HDL is the triglyceride-to-HDL ratio. To find your TG/HDL, simply put your blood triglyceride value over your blood HDL cholesterol level, as measured by your medical laboratory blood test.
Why is TG/HDL important?
TG/HDL is important because it is an important predictor of risk for heart disease. It is also a marker of insulin resistance, and insulin resistance is the major cause of prediabetes, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. (Cordero, 2009)
The Women’s Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation (WISE) study studied 544 women referred for CV disease evaluation (Bittner, 2009). The TG/HDL ranged from 0.3 to 18.4. It was a powerful predictor of all mortality and cardiovascular events.
This chart shows the WISE study range of TG/HDL. Individuals with lower TG/HDL had lower CV disease risk.
What is a good TG:HDL ratio?
A lower TG/HDL is better. In the discussion of science, studies, and treatment, there has been a tendency to go with higher ratios to show the largest impact on CV disease risk and death.
Here are the typical cut points for risk (Sigurdsson, 2014):
- In US (mg/dL) – less than 2 is ideal; above 4 is too high
- In Europe (mmol/L) – less than 0.87 is ideal; above 1.74 is too high
Does ethnicity matter in terms of TG/HDL?
TG/HDL appears to vary by ethnicity. Ratios are higher in Hispanic Americans (3.9) than non-Hispanic whites (3.3) and non-Hispanic Blacks (2.9) (Willey, 2011).
Thus, many say that we should go target different levels based upon ethnicity. Those same scientists have said that a TG/HDL of 2.0 is diagnostic of prediabetes for African-Americans.
Although the patterns of TG/HDL vary by ethnicity, I do not recommend focusing on this. There are several reasons, such as the fact that ethnicities are often mixed and unknown.
But the biggest reason is that TG/HDL is an indicator of the health of insulin and glucose metabolism—the lower the ratio, the better the patient’s health. Not to mention that most of the cut points used in research as markers for prediabetes are too high. For example, ratios of 2 and 3 confer risk, no matter what your ethnicity is.
A TG/HDL of 3 confers a higher risk for heart disease, so all of us should focus on this important number. No matter which ethnicity, the goal should be as low as possible. Like I mentioned in the previous section, I do recommend that my patients target 1.5 or less.
How can you naturally lower TG and increase HDL levels?
The most effective ways to improve your TG/HDL (that is, lower TG and raise HDL) are:
- Lose weight. Body fat used to be considered as an inert energy storage tissue. Now we know it is an endocrine tissue that releases chemicals (like adipokines) that cause insulin resistance, prediabetes, and CV risk (Kwon, 2013; Rabe 2008).
- Eat fewer carbs. Get into a lower carbohydrate diet (Dashti, 2004).
- Exercise. Exercise increases HDL levels and lowers TG levels (Sopko, 1985; WebMD, “Will Exercise Really Lower Triglycerides?”).
- Take niacin. It is one of the few supplements that lowers TG (down by 20-50%), increases HDL cholesterol levels (up by 15-35%), and lowers LDL cholesterol levels (down by 10-25%) (Simon, 2007; Kamanna, 2008).
- Get dietary and supplemental omega-3s (Yanai, 2018).
Which medications improve TG/HDL?
- Statins. The major impact of statins on TG/HDL is to lower TG. But usually, statins are given to lower LDL. Sometimes they can also increase HDL levels but still not as much as how they lower TG. They can lower TG by as much as 50% (Maki, 2012).
- Fibrates (Lopid, Fibricor, and Tricor);
- Prescription-strength niacin (Niaspan);
- Prescription-strength omega-3s. Icosapent ethyl (Vascepa), Epanova, and Lovaza are prescription forms of omega-3s (Bhatt, 2019; WebMD, “What medicine is used to treat triglycerides?”)
Can lowering carbs actually improve TG/HDL, RC, and CV risk?
Yes. There is plenty of evidence showing this. Multiple studies range from clinical trials in animals and humans to meta-analyses. Here are 4 of them:
- The Abbasi study was a human clinical trial using a crossover design. People ate high carbs (60% of calories) for 2 weeks, then low carbs (40% of calories) for 2 weeks, with a “washout period” of 2 weeks in between. The high-carb diet doubled TG levels, tripled remnant cholesterol, and lowered HDL by 15% (Abbasi, 2004).
- The Wang study is a randomized clinical trial in laboratory mice (Wang, 2008).
- The Volek study is a meta-analysis. It reviews pre-2005 studies which had already shown that low-carb diets decrease triglycerides and remnant cholesterol while increasing HDL cholesterol level (Volek, 2005).
- The Ebbeling study was also a human subjects clinical trial. It was done at Harvard. Subjects on a low-carb diet had lower TG and higher HDL cholesterol. Also, researchers showed that low-carb diets were less likely to result in weight rebound due to improved energy expenditure and leptin (Ebbelin, 2012).
My name is Ford Brewer. My team and I work to prevent heart attack, stroke, cancer, and dementia. Our goal is to help you understand how to prevent major killers and disablers. Most of them are driven by the process of cardiovascular inflammation.
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Abbasi F, McLaughlin T et al. 2004. High carbohydrate diets, triglyceride-rich lipoproteins, and coronary heart disease risk. American Jl of Cardiology, Preventive Cardiology 85,(1) p 45-48.
BetaBios, 2020. Have you heard of remnant cholesterol before?
Bhatt DL, Steg PG, Miller M, et al. 2019. Cardiovascular Risk Reduction with Icosapent Ethyl for Hypertriglyceridemia. N Engl J Med. 380:11-22.
BioScience Notes. 2020. High density lipoproteins (HDL).
Bittner V, Johnson BD, Zineh I, et al. 2009. The TG/HDL Cholesterol Ratio Predicts All Cause Mortality in Women With Suspected Myocardial Ischemia A Report from the Women’s Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation (WISE). Am Heart J. 157(3):548-555.
Brewer, F. 2017. Silent CV Risk: Triglyceride/HDL Ratio.
Brewer, F. 2020. Chuck’s Heart Attack at 55 mph: Switch to Tesla Autopilot.
Chemistry LibreTexts. Triglycerides.
Chiesa ST, Charakida M. 2019. High-Density Lipoprotein Function and Dysfunction in Health and Disease. Cardiovasc Drugs Ther. 33(2):207-219.
Cordero A, Alegria-Ezquerra E. 2008. TG/HDL as surrogate marker for insulin resistance. European Society of Cardiology.
Dashti HM, Mathew TC, Hussein T, et al. 2004. Long-term effects of a ketogenic diet in obese patients. Exp Clin Cardiol. 9(3):200-205.
Dhindsa D, Shapiro MD. 2019. Triglycerides, Remnant Cholesterol and Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease. 2019. American College of Cardiology.
Ebbeling CB, Swain JF, Feldman HA, et al. 2012. Effects of Dietary Composition on Energy Expenditure During Weight-Loss Maintenance. JAMA. 307(24):2627–2634.
Kamanna VS, Kashyap ML. 2008. Mechanism of action of niacin. Am J Cardiol. 101(8A):20B-26B.
Kwon H, Pessin JE. 2013. Adipokines Mediate Inflammation and Insulin Resistance. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 4:71.
Lillo J. 2020. Specialty Corner: Disorders of The Triglyceride-HDL Axis in Insulin Resistance. National Lipid Association.
Maki KC, Bays JE, Dicklin MR. 2012. Treatment options for the management of hypertriglyceridemia: strategies based on the best-available evidence. J Clin Lipidol. 6(5):413-26.
Rabe K, Lehrke M, Parhofer KG, Broedl UC. 2008. Adipokines and Insulin Resistance. Mol Med. 14(11-12):741-751.
Sigurdsson A. 2014. The Triglyceride/HDL Cholesterol Ratio. The Doc’s Opinion.
Simon HB. 2007. On Call: Niacin for Cholesterol. Harvard Men’s Health Watch
Sopko G, Leon AS, Jacobs DR Jr, et al. 1985. The effects of exercise and weight loss on plasma lipids in young obese men. Metabolism. 34(3):227-236.
Volek JS et al. 2005. Modification of Lipoproteins by Very Low-Carbohydrate Diets. Jl of Nutrition. 135(6) pp 139-142.
Wang L, Yu J, Walzem RL. 2008. High-carbohydrate Diets Affect the Size and Composition of Plasma Lipoproteins in Hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus). Comp Med. 58(2):151-160.
Willey JZ, Rodriguez CJ, Carlino RF, et al. 2011. Race-ethnic differences in the association between lipid profile components and risk of myocardial infarction: The Northern Manhattan Study. Am Heart J. 161(5):886-892.
Yanai H, Masui Y, Katsuyama H, et al. 2018. An Improvement of Cardiovascular Risk Factors by Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids. J Clin Med Res. 10(4):281-289.
Studies suggest that the total cholesterol to HDL ratio is a better marker of the risk of heart disease than LDL cholesterol levels alone.What is more important LDL HDL or triglycerides? ›
It is important for you to be totally informed about your true lipid picture. Remember the triglyceride to HDL ratio is the stronger predictor of heart disease, much more so than “just” high cholesterol and LDL/HDL ratios.Which cholesterol ratio is most important? ›
The higher the ratio, the higher the risk. Most healthcare providers want the ratio to be below 5:1. A ratio below 3.5:1 is considered very good.Why is LDL HDL ratio important? ›
Working out a person's cholesterol ratio is important because it can help a doctor determine a person's risk of heart disease. Doctors calculate an individual's cholesterol ratio by dividing their total cholesterol by their high-density lipoprotein level. The optimal ratio is between 3.5 and 1.Do cholesterol numbers really matter? ›
High blood cholesterol levels are a risk factor for heart disease. However, dietary cholesterol has little to no effect on blood cholesterol levels in most people. More importantly, there is no significant link between the cholesterol you eat and your risk of heart disease.What is a healthy cholesterol ratio by age? ›
|Age and sex||Total serum cholesterol||Triglycerides|
|all aged 19 years and younger||170 mg/dl at most||less than 150 mg/dl|
|females aged 20 years and older||125–200 mg/dl||less than 150 mg/dl|
|males aged 20 years and older||125–200 mg/dl||less than 150 mg/dl|
What should your triglycerides to HDL cholesterol ratio be? Ideally, you want no more than a 2:1 ratio of triglycerides to HDL cholesterol. So, if your triglycerides are 100 mg/dl, your HDL cholesterol should be 50 mg/dl.What is worse triglycerides or LDL? ›
LDL is known as the “bad” cholesterol because having too much LDL may cause a buildup of plaque in your blood vessels. Triglycerides are also a type of fat found in your blood. High triglycerides, low HDL, and/or high LDL numbers can increase your risk for heart attack and stroke.Is a LDL HDL ratio of 1.6 good? ›
If your total cholesterol is less than 200, but your ratio is 5, you are still at increased risk for developing heart disease. This ratio compares the amount of bad (LDL) cholesterol to your good (HDL) cholesterol levels. You want a ratio less than 3.5, ideally less than 2.5.What should a 70 year old cholesterol be? ›
40 – 49 mg/dL for men and 50 – 59 mg/dL for women is better. 60 mg/dL and higher is best.
When you have low triglyceride levels but high LDL levels, it could indicate that you have a diet filled with healthy fats. Healthy fats will not only cause an increase in good cholesterol (HDL) but can also change the type of the LDL particles in the blood.What should my triglycerides be for my age? ›
Table 2. For Men of Age 20 Years or Older.
|Total Cholesterol||125 to 200 mg/dL|
|HDL||40 mg/dL or higher|
So what are your target numbers? According to Michos, an ideal LDL cholesterol level should be less than 70 mg/dl, and a woman's HDL cholesterol level ideally should be close to 50 mg/dl. Triglycerides should be less than 150 mg/dl. As Michos notes, total cholesterol levels well below 200 mg/dl are best.Is a 4.5 cholesterol ratio good? ›
The optimal cholesterol ratio is between 3.5 and 1, while a ratio of 5 or below is considered normal. 4 A cholesterol ratio within the normal range means that your cholesterol levels are likely not contributing to cardiac risk.What's a good cholesterol level? ›
Here are the ranges for total cholesterol in adults: Normal: Less than 200 mg/dL. Borderline high: 200 to 239 mg/dL. High: At or above 240 mg/dL.Can you have clogged arteries without high cholesterol? ›
Optimal cholesterol levels don't always translate to perfect heart health, based on a recent study that found half of healthy patients with normal cholesterol levels have dangerous plaque build-up in their arteries.Does oatmeal really lower cholesterol? ›
Eating just one and one-half cups of cooked oatmeal a day can lower your cholesterol by 5 to 8%. Oatmeal contains soluble and insoluble fiber – two types that your body needs. Insoluble fiber, which is also found in the skins of many fruits, helps keep us regular.Does eating eggs increase your cholesterol? ›
Answer From Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, M.D. Chicken eggs are an affordable source of protein and other nutrients. They're also naturally high in cholesterol. But the cholesterol in eggs doesn't seem to raise cholesterol levels the way some other foods, such as those high in trans fats and saturated fats, do.What is the average cholesterol level for a 65 year old woman? ›
A normal total cholesterol level for adults without heart disease is less than 200 mg/dL.What is dangerously high cholesterol? ›
A person is considered at high risk for developing heart disease if their total cholesterol level is higher than 240 mg/dL, LDL levels are higher than 160 mg/dL (190 mg/dL is even higher risk), and if the HDL level is below 40 mg/dL.
For most healthy adults (19 and older), your total cholesterol should be less than 200 mg/dL, your LDL less than 100 mg/dL, and your HDL greater than 40 mg/dL. For children (19 and younger), total cholesterol should be less than 170 mg/dL, LDL less than 110 mg/dL, and HDL greater than 45 mg/dL.Is a 2.0 cholesterol ratio good? ›
According to StatPearls, you should try to keep your cholesterol ratio below 5, with the ideal cholesterol ratio being 3.5. That said, the ideal cholesterol ratios for men and women may differ. The ideal total cholesterol level for an adult is 200 mg/dL or less . Women typically have higher levels of HDL than men.How do I raise my triglyceride HDL ratio? ›
People can calculate their triglyceride HDL ratio by dividing their triglycerides by their HDL level. This is not a common measurement method, but it can help determine a person's risk of heart disease. For example, 200 (triglyceride level) ÷ 55 (HDL) = 3.6 (triglyceride HDL ratio).How do I lower my triglyceride HDL ratio? ›
- Exercise regularly. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most or all days of the week. ...
- Avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates. ...
- Lose weight. ...
- Choose healthier fats. ...
- Limit how much alcohol you drink.
For predicting your risk of heart disease, many doctors now believe that determining your non-HDL cholesterol level may be more useful than calculating your cholesterol ratio.Does cheese cause high triglycerides? ›
Even so, recommendations are to limit the intake of saturated fats, follow a Mediterranean style diet, or to reduce or to maintain serum triglyceride levels below 1.7 mmol/L (4). On the contrary, observational studies have shown that cheese intake is associated with lower serum triglycerides (5, 6).Does cheese raise LDL? ›
Dairy products—especially cheese—are a major source of saturated fat in the average American diet. Saturated fats tend to raise harmful LDL cholesterol, which can boost heart disease risk.What if LDL HDL ratio is low? ›
There is no consensus on how to define very low LDL cholesterol, but LDL would be considered very low if it is less than 40 milligrams per deciliter of blood. Although the risks are rare, very low levels of LDL cholesterol may be associated with an increased risk of: Cancer. Hemorrhagic stroke.Can stress lead to high cholesterol? ›
Constant stress is another story. If it's nonstop and lasts for a long time, your stress hormones remain at high levels and put a dangerous strain on your heart and other parts of your body. High levels of cortisol from chronic or long-term stress can cause high blood cholesterol, along with other heart disease risks.Should 75 year olds take statins? ›
Although the risk of death from heart disease increases with age, a recent NIA-supported study suggests that adults 75 and older who start taking a cholesterol-lowering drug known as a statin may have a lower risk of death than nonusers. Findings were reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Within each diet, sodium intake did not significantly affect serum total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, or triglycerides. On the control diet, the ratio of total cholesterol-to-HDL cholesterol increased by 2% from 4.53 on higher sodium to 4.63 on lower sodium intake (P=0.04).Does exercise Lower cholesterol? ›
Exercise can improve cholesterol. Moderate physical activity can help raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, the "good" cholesterol. With your doctor's OK, work up to at least 30 minutes of exercise five times a week or vigorous aerobic activity for 20 minutes three times a week.Why did my cholesterol go up when I lost weight? ›
When we lose weight, we mobilise stored fat, so the cholesterol normally stored in fatty tissue will be released into our bloodstream, causing a transient rise in blood cholesterol levels. This effect is not permanent and cholesterol levels will commonly decrease as your weight stabilises.Does intermittent fasting increase LDL? ›
One analysis of a few intermittent fasting studies showed that a 22-day alternate-day fasting regimen resulted in an increase in HDL, LDL, and triglyceride levels, but an 8-week time-restricted feeding study showed improved HDL/LDL ratio (Patterson et al 2015).What can cause a false high triglycerides? ›
Drinking alcohol and smoking prior to testing can cause false results. Recent exercise and fluctuating hormone levels may also affect triglyceride readings, making them falsely high or low.
Switch to sparkling water with a squeeze of lime juice. Or try a tangy herbal iced-tea blend that tastes great without added sugar. Excess drinking is one cause of high triglycerides. That means more than one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men.What foods should you eat to lower your triglycerides? ›
Foods that can help lower triglycerides
all vegetables, especially leafy greens, green beans, and butternut squash. all fruits, especially citrus fruits, and berries. low fat or fat-free dairy products, such as cheese, yogurt, and milk. high-fiber whole grains, such as quinoa, barley, and brown rice.
The optimal cholesterol ratio is between 3.5 and 1, while a ratio of 5 or below is considered normal. 4 A cholesterol ratio within the normal range means that your cholesterol levels are likely not contributing to cardiac risk.Is 1.5 A good LDL HDL ratio? ›
If your total cholesterol is less than 200, but your ratio is 5, you are still at increased risk for developing heart disease. This ratio compares the amount of bad (LDL) cholesterol to your good (HDL) cholesterol levels. You want a ratio less than 3.5, ideally less than 2.5.Can high HDL offset high LDL? ›
With LDL cholesterol, lower is better. HDL cholesterol helps remove LDL cholesterol from the blood and transports it to the liver for processing and elimination. A higher HDL number is desirable because it usually signals a lower risk of heart disease.
– your total cholesterol level should be below 4 mmol/l – your bad LDL cholesterol level should be below 2 mmol/l – your good HDL cholesterol level should be above 1 mmol/l. If your total cholesterol level is over 4 and your LDL is over 2, this shows that you might be at higher risk of a heart attack or stroke.What should a 70 year old cholesterol be? ›
40 – 49 mg/dL for men and 50 – 59 mg/dL for women is better. 60 mg/dL and higher is best.What should my triglycerides be for my age? ›
Table 2. For Men of Age 20 Years or Older.
|Total Cholesterol||125 to 200 mg/dL|
|HDL||40 mg/dL or higher|
Background: Previous research indicates that total cholesterol levels increase with age during young adulthood and middle age and decline with age later in life. This is attributed to changes in diet, body composition, medication use, physical activity, and hormone levels.What is a good triglyceride to HDL ratio? ›
What should your triglycerides to HDL cholesterol ratio be? Ideally, you want no more than a 2:1 ratio of triglycerides to HDL cholesterol. So, if your triglycerides are 100 mg/dl, your HDL cholesterol should be 50 mg/dl.Is a 2.0 cholesterol ratio good? ›
According to StatPearls, you should try to keep your cholesterol ratio below 5, with the ideal cholesterol ratio being 3.5. That said, the ideal cholesterol ratios for men and women may differ. The ideal total cholesterol level for an adult is 200 mg/dL or less . Women typically have higher levels of HDL than men.What is ideal cholesterol level? ›
|Result||Healthy level (mmol/L)|
|Total cholesterol||5 or below|
|HDL (good cholesterol)||1 or above|
|Non-HDL (bad cholesterol)||4 or below|
|Fasting triglycerides (when you're asked not to eat for several hours before the test)||1.7 or below|