The normal, and desirable, total cholesterol level is any level less than 200 milligrams per deciliter of blood, according to the National Institutes of Health. Optimal levels of LDL and HDL cholesterol are less than 100 milligrams and 40 milligrams per deciliter of blood, respectively.
Total cholesterol is a numerical measurement of the HDL and LDL cholesterol levels within a person's blood, states the National Institutes of Health. HDL cholesterol is also known as "good cholesterol" because it helps to remove cholesterol build-up in a person's arteries. LDL cholesterol is also known as "bad cholesterol" because it is responsible for cholesterol buildup and blockages in the arteries.