A total cholesterol level under 200 milligrams per deciliter is considered healthy for everyone, according to MedlinePlus. The optimal low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level is less than 100 milligrams per deciliter, and for high-density lipoprotein, the healthy level is 60 milligrams per deciliter and higher.
LDL cholesterol is called bad cholesterol because it builds up on artery walls, increasing the risk of heart disease, explains WebMD. Statin medications are sometimes prescribed to help lower the LDL number.
HDL cholesterol protects against heart disease by removing LDL cholesterol from the blood, preventing it from clogging arteries, notes WebMD. Statin medications and exercise can increase HDL cholesterol.
Age, gender, weight, level of physical activity, and diet impact cholesterol levels, advises MedlinePlus. High cholesterol is also hereditary. Therapeutic drugs, weight management, increased physical activity and dietary adjustments can lower LDL cholesterol levels.