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1. Lipid Profile

 

This test helps determine your risk for coronary artery disease. Values for cholesterol, HDL, LDL, triglycerides are found on your result page.  Pay special attention to the ratio between total cholesterol and the HDL value.  This ratio is a good indicator of risk for developing buildup of cholesterol and fat in the walls of the arteries.

Total Cholesterol

Desirable: <200 MG/DL
 

Important:  Look at all your numbers, not just cholesterol.  A high HDL (good cholesterol) helps remove LDL cholesterol from your body.  LDL (bad cholesterol) leads to a buildup of cholesterol in the arteries.

HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein) Cholesterol
Desirable: >60 MG/DL

HDL cholesterol is sometimes called "good" cholesterol.  It helps prevent cholesterol from building up in the arteries.   The higher your HDL is, the lower your chances are of developing heart disease.

LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein) Cholesterol:

Desirable: <100 MG/DL
LDL cholesterol is sometimes called "bad" cholesterol. A high LDL cholesterol level may lead to hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis).

Fasting cholesterol/HDL Ratio:

                                   Male                     Female

Average Risk:                      5.0                         4.4

2x Average Risk:                  9.6                         7.1

3x Average Risk:                 23.4                       11.0

 

An average ratio would be about 4.5.  Ideally you want to be lower than average if you can. Thus the best ratio would be 2 or 3 or less than 4.

Triglycerides:

Desirable: <150 MG/DL

Triglycerides are another form of fat in your blood affected by the foods we eat. In normal amounts, triglycerides are important to good health. But high levels of triglycerides may increase your risk of developing coronary artery disease. Eating foods that are lower in sugar and higher in complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, as well as using alcohol only in moderation can reduce triglyceride levels.

5 Ways to Improve Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels

1.  Diet:  Eat more foods that are not processed, increase fiber in your diet and avoid foods with added sugars.

2.  Weight:  Losing weight can decrease risk of heart disease.  Look at our Well at Work "Menu" of weight loss options for ideas.

3.  Physical Activity:  Regular activity can help lower LDL and increase HDL.  150 minutes of activity a week is recommended to maintain health.

4.  Smoking:  Smoking is the number one risk factor for heart disease.  Call our Tobacco Treatment Specialist at 405-307-3175 to learn how to stop your tobacco use.

5.  Medications:  In some cases, your physician may recommend medication to improve cholesterol levels. 

    For more information about cholesterol, click the links below:

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Cholesterol/Cholesterol_UCM_001089_SubHomePage.jsp

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Cholesterol/AboutCholesterol/What-Your-Cholesterol-Levels-Mean_UCM_305562_Article.jsp#.VtSlwVL2aJA

http://www.learnyourlipids.com/