Use a cholesterol level table to find your total cholesterol level, levels of good and bad cholesterol, whether these levels are optimal or high and if they put you at risk of heart disease. High density lipoprotein cholesterol is considered the good cholesterol because it helps break down build-up on the walls of the arteries that lead to a narrowing of the passages. The opposite is true of the bad cholesterol, or low-density lipoprotein, which clogs the walls, explains WebMD.
Larger levels of the good cholesterol, at levels greater than 60 mg/dL, offer some protection against heart disease, while lower levels signal greater risk of heart disease, states WebMD. For the bad cholesterol, it is optimal to have levels lower than 100 mg/dL, while very high levels are at over 190 mg/dL. For total cholesterol, the desired number is under 200 mg/dL, while levels above 240 mg/dL signal high risk. Along with the increased risk of heart attacks, those with high cholesterol also have increased risks of stroke.
Triglycerides are a type of fat in the bloodstream. Its levels are often measured along with those of cholesterol, states WebMD. High levels, such as over 160 mg/dL, of triglycerides are a risk factor for the condition of restricted arteries.