A normal range for HDL cholesterol is between 50 to 70 milligrams per deciliter, according to Mayo Clinic. A value between 50 to 60 milligrams per deciliter is considered good, but values higher than 60 milligrams per deciliter are considered best.
Poor values for HDL cholesterol are different for men and women. Values below 50 milligrams per deciliter are considered poor for women, but values below 40 milligrams per deciliter are considered poor for men, explains Mayo Clinic. HDL cholesterol values may be increased through physical activity, weight loss, cessation of smoking and choosing healthier dietary fats. Though moderate alcohol use increases HDL cholesterol levels, this is not recommended as a means by which to increase HDL cholesterol levels.