An ideal level for total cholesterol is less than 200 milligrams per deciliter, according to MedlinePlus. An ideal level for LDL, which is considered the bad cholesterol, is less than 100 mg/dL;although 100 to 129 mg/dL is still very good. An ideal HDL cholesterol level is 60 mg/dL or higher.
The factors that affect cholesterol in a negative way include being overweight, eating a diet high in saturated fat and cholesterol, and being physically inactive, notes MedlinePlus. People should be physically active a minimum of 30 minutes each day if possible. Age, gender and hereditary can also affect cholesterol levels.