Blood Cholesterol Levels

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Blood cholesterol levels measure the cholesterol in constant circulation in our cardiovascular system. Two sources feed these levels. One is the liver, which produces cholesterol using the saturated fats in our diet and account for 85 percent. The other is the diet itself, which accounts for 15 percent. Blood cholesterol levels are affected by a number of factors. Among them are diet, exercise, body weight, heredity, age and gender. You need to be constantly vigilant, to properly in maintain healthy blood cholesterol levels.

Monitoring Blood Cholesterol Levels

One item on the to-do list for avoiding heart disease is checking your blood cholesterol levels regularly. If you are in your 20s or 30s, every five years is often enough. Once the 40s arrive—yes, we are middle aged now—men should begin checking levels every two years.

Women are advised to follow suit in their 50s. Checking blood cholesterol levels is easy, can be done at home with a home test kit your doctor recommends or at your doctor's office. It takes less than 15 minutes and is painless and easy.

Healthy Blood Cholesterol Levels

There are several levels to monitor: LDL, HDL and total. A total blood cholesterol in the 200 mg/dL or less range is the ideal. Less than that is good, more indicates a risk factor. Watching them over time is very important, a preventative measure worth its weight in gold. Interpreting these blood cholesterol levels, however, is best left to your health care practitioner, who is trained to take into account all the factors that come into play.

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