Recommended Cholesterol Levels for Healthy Individuals


Use the charts below to find out what the results from your fasting cholesterol test, called the lipid profile, mean. There are separate charts for total cholesterol, LDL - the bad cholesterol, and HDL - the good cholesterol. Look in the left column for the number that your doctor told you, then read across the rows to the right to see how health specialists define your range and what it means in terms of your risk for heart disease.

How Total Cholesterol Impacts Your Risk of Heart Disease

Total Cholesterol Number What Range Your Numbers Fall In How Your Numbers Impact Your Risk Less than 200 mg/dL Desirable You want your numbers to be in this range to keep your risk for heart disease low. 200 to 239 mg/dL Borderline High Your levels are higher than they should be, and you need to take action to lower them. 240 mg/dL and above High Your levels are too high and are putting you at increased risk for developing heart disease or complications from heart disease. You must take action.

How LDL Levels Impact Your Risk of Heart Disease

LDL Cholesterol Number What Range Your Numbers Fall In How Your Numbers Impact Your Risk Less than 100 mg/dL Optimal You want your numbers to be in this range to keep your risk for heart disease low. 100 to 129 mg/dL Near Optimal/Above Optimal You are close to having your levels in the healthiest range. 130 to 159 mg/dL Borderline High Your levels are higher than they should be. 160 to 189 mg/dL High Your levels are too high and are putting you at increased risk for developing heart disease or complications from heart disease. You must take action. 190 mg/dL and above Very High Your levels are very unhealthy and are putting you at increased risk for developing heart disease or complications from heart disease. You need intensive action to lower them. 

How HDL Levels Impact Your Risk of Heart Disease

HDL Cholesterol Number What Range Your Numbers Fall In How Your Numbers Impact Your Risk 40 mg/dL and below Low Your risk is increased. The lower your HDL readings, the higher your risk of heart disease. 60 mg/dL and above High Your risk is lower. High HDL levels lower your risk for heart disease.