What are Cholesterol Levels Supposed to be?

The term cholesterol sends a shiver down the spines of many people. Mostly because they don’t understand exactly what types of cholesterol are in the body and what to do to improve them. Because there is HDL and LDL cholesterol in your blood stream, you need to have a cholesterol test to see exactly what your cholesterol levels are for each type. One is good and one is bad and often times, people have a hard time keeping them apart.

Get to the Lab

A lab technician will draw a vial or two of blood and send it out for testing. The results will show what your blood cholesterol is. It will read out the HDL, LDL and combined totals, as well as some other numbers your doctor will review with you. If you have normal cholesterol levels, then you need to keep up with your diet and exercise plan. If you have high cholesterol levels, you need to change a few things.

Make Modifications

Most likely, you will need to change your diet and add in more exercise. Exercise could be walking 30 minutes a day for five times a week. Walking doesn’t have to be fast paced, but it should be enough to get your heart pumping and processing the blood. You can start any activity you want with the approval of your doctor and exercise even more than what they recommend.

The hard part will be modifying a diet. You will need to reduce the bad cholesterol foods in your diet, such as red meat, dairy and sweets. Adding in lots of vegetables, fruits and whole grains will help clean your system out of the bad LDL levels. By eating fish, especially tuna and salmon, you can improve your HDL levels. Higher HDL levels will also help to lower the bad cholesterol for you.

If you already have a modified diet and have been regularly exercising, the doctor could prescribe you with some medication. The medicine reduces the cholesterol in your bloodstream but also comes with a bunch of side effects that a lot of people don’t like. You will still need to follow a modified diet in order to keep the cholesterol in acceptable ranges. Adding in exercise will only help to keep the cholesterol at a manageable limit where you don’t have to worry about heart disease.