Cholesterol guidelines include total desired cholesterol levels or lipoprotein profiles, according to the National Institutes of Health. Ideal total cholesterol is less than 200 mg/dL, while ideal LDL cholesterol levels are less than 100 mg/dL.
The National Institutes of Health points out that individuals who have a total cholesterol level of 240 mg/dL or higher need to have a lipoprotein profile administered by their doctors, as this cholesterol measurement is considered high-risk. A measurement between 200 mg/dL and 239 mg/dL is moderately high and requires monitoring.
Not all cholesterol is bad for the body, the National Institutes of Health explains. People have their LDL cholesterol tested to determine overall health. LDL cholesterol is the main source of blockages in the arteries. Healthy LDL levels range from 100 mg/dL to 129 mg/dL. Anything between 130 mg/dL and 189 mg/dL is considered high. A measurement of 190 mg/dL and above of LDL cholesterol is very high.
Doctors suggest patients change their diets and lifestyles to prevent high cholesterol levels, WebMD reports. Guidelines for improving cholesterol include getting regular exercise, avoiding foods that contain trans and saturated fats and taking cholesterol-lowering medications.
People who have a history of heart disease or diabetes or have multiple lifestyle risk factors for high cholesterol are at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease than those who have low cholesterol and few risk factors.