Cholesterol is a fatty substance, essential for the body as it helps in tissue, hormone, and cell formation. It occurs naturally, but, is required only in a limited amount. Excess of it is harmful for the body, and hence, a person must try to keep his cholesterol levels in check and also maintain the ideal ratio.

Good cholesterol is HDL, i.e, High-Density Lipoprotein. It decreases the risk of heart diseases. On the other hand, bad cholesterol is the LDL , i.e, Low-Density Lipoprotein. It increases the risk of heart diseases.

Cholesterol Ratio

Total cholesterol, LDL and HDL, all the three factors play an important role in the human body and are taken into consideration when the ideal ratio is determined.

Total Cholesterol/HDL: In order to find the ratio of total cholesterol and HDL, one needs to divide the total cholesterol with HDL. The desirable level should be less than 200 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter of blood) while the desirable HDL should be more than 60 mg/dL. The average ratio can be below or equal to 5:1. But, the ideal cholesterol ratio of total cholesterol and HDL should be 3.5:1.

HDL/LDL: The ideal cholesterol levels of LDL is less than 100 mg/dL, while that of HDL is more than 60 mg/dL. Therefore, 0.4:1 is considered as the ideal cholesterol ratio for HDL/LDL.

LDL/HDL: It helps to determine the chances of heart diseases. The ideal cholesterol ratio of LDL/HDL is 2.5:1

Ideal Levels of Cholesterol

The following are the safe cholesterol levels.
Total Cholesterol = Less than 200 mg/dL
LDL = Less than 100 mg/dL
HDL = More than 60 mg/dL

The following are the average cholesterol levels.
Total cholesterol = Between 200-240 mg/dL
LDL = Between 100-160 mg/dL
HDL = Between 40-60 mg/dL

The following cholesterol levels indicate danger or high risk of heart diseases.
Total Cholesterol = 240 mg/dL and above
LDL = More than 160 mg/dL
HDL = Less than 40 mg/dL

Maintaining Ideal Levels of Cholesterol

One needs to keep the cholesterol ratio and levels in check. Excess cholesterol does not get eliminated from our body. On the contrary, it gets stored in our arteries and blocks them. Blocking of the arteries can result in obstructed flow of blood, consequently increasing the risk of heart attack or stroke.

In order to maintain ideal cholesterol level, one must have a balanced diet and avoid foods high in cholesterol. Along with diet, exercise also plays an important role in lowering high cholesterol levels. One must avoid smoking, alcohol consumption as well as keep obesity in check.

Maintaining an ideal cholesterol ratio and level is important to have a healthy and long life!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.