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Useful Tools > Cholesterol Guide

Your Cholesterol Goal

Before you know your goal, you should know your cholesterol numbers. And the only way to know your cholesterol numbers is for your doctor to do a blood test. The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) recommends that all adults aged 20 years and older have their cholesterol levels checked at least every 5 years.

Total cholesterol 
Your total cholesterol is a measure that includes both the LDL (bad) cholesterol and HDL (good) cholesterol in your blood. Your total cholesterol number represents the general risk of developing heart disease. However, your doctor may choose to focus on your LDL (bad) cholesterol because it is considered a better measure of risk than your total cholesterol is.

LDL (bad) cholesterol

The higher your LDL (bad) cholesterol number, the greater your risk of developing heart disease.

Take a look at the charts below. They will give you an idea of what your cholesterol levels mean.
That’s because too much LDL (bad) cholesterol in your bloodstream can build up in your arteries, increasing your risk of heart disease.

Total Cholesterol Level (mg/dL)


Less Than 200



Borderline high

240 and above


LDL Cholesterol Level (mg/dL

LDL Cholesterol Category

Less Than 100



Near optimal/above optimal


Borderline high




Very High

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