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Search Health Information    Cholesterol 101

Cholesterol 101

(HealthDay News) --Having your cholesterol checked means you'll be given some numbers. Just what can those numbers reveal?

The number represents the level of cholesterol in your blood. It's measured in milligrams of cholesterol per deciliter of blood (mg/dL). And that indicates whether the amount is acceptable, health-wise, or not.

For example, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration:

  • Your overall cholesterol number generally should be less than 200 mg/dL.
  • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol -- the bad kind -- should be less than 100 mg/dL. LDL cholesterol causes plaque to build up in the arteries, which can lead to blockages and heart disease.
  • High-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) -- the good kind -- protects against heart disease by helping to keep the arteries from clogging. A good HDL level is generally 60 mg/dL or higher.