What Are Normal Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels?

Updated April 17, 2017

Normal cholesterol and triglyceride levels are necessary for good health. In higher than normal numbers, cholesterol and triglycerides can lead to chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and strokes.

Measuring Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels

Cholesterol and triglyceride levels are measured through a blood test. The test results measure these fats in units of milligrams per decilitre (mg/dl) of blood.

Normal Total Cholesterol Levels

Total cholesterol readings lower than 200 mg/dl are considered optimal by health care professionals.

Normal HDL and LDL

Doctors advise keeping low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels under 100 mg/dl to lower the risk of heart disease and strokes. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels of 40 to 50 mg/dl for men and 50 to 60 mg/dl for women are considered desirable. High levels of HDL (60 mg/dl and above) are believed to offer protection against heart disease.

Normal Triglyceride Levels

Triglyceride levels lower than 150 mg/dl, tested after an overnight food and alcohol fast, are considered normal by most doctors. Genetic factors, high carbohydrate intake, and lack of physical activity may contribute towards higher levels of the lipid.

Expert Insight

The American Heart Association states that, total cholesterol counts lower than 200 mg/dl, in combination with favourable HDL, LDL, and triglyceride levels, decreases the risk of coronary heart disease.

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About the Author

Based in the Pacific Northwest, Arathi Srikantaiah has been writing health and travel articles since 2002. Her web articles have been published on such Web sites as eHow, epinions, TouristTravel and Helium. Srikantaiah holds a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture and a Master of Science in Computer Systems.