When it comes to thinking about your current cholesterol levels, chances are that you'll probably worry most about your levels of "LDL" cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is more commonly known as the bad cholesterol that can exist in your system, and they are the primary focus of most cholesterol screening tests. When screening for cholesterol, your doctor will measure your HDL cholesterol (or good cholesterol) and triglycerides at the same time as your LDL. According to statistics, about fifty percent of all heart attacks occurred in people with normal levels of LDL, so researchers have been forced to consider other measurements that can help identify people that are at a high risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease. This is where the non HDL cholesterol levels come into play.

Figuring Out About Non-HDL Cholesterol Levels:

The levels of non-HDL cholesterol within any person's system can be calculated by subtracting the level of HDL cholesterol within a person from the total cholesterol amount. The resulting value measures not only the "bad" LDL cholesterol, but also other cholesterol contained in very low-density lipoproteins or metabolic remnants. Like LDL cholesterol, the remnants are also responsible for promoting the build up of plaque within arteries, and studies have shown that non-HDL cholesterol measures are better than LDL cholesterol alone at predicting the risk of cardiovascular failure.

For instance, people with type 2 diabetes often suffer from elevated triglyceride levels but relatively normal LDL values for cholesterol, meaning that measuring their non-HDL can be particularly useful in assessing their risk and directing their treatment. One advantage of measuring non-HDL cholesterol is that it does not require any additional testing, and can simply be calculated following a standard cholesterol test.

Desirable Non HDL Cholesterol Levels:

According to guidelines that were set by the national cholesterol education program, the best possible levels for non-HDL cholesterol should be 30mg/dL above the targeted levels for LDL cholesterol. This means that if you suffer from type 2 diabetes, your level of non-HDL cholesterol shouldn't be any higher than 130 mg/dL.

The easiest way to look at it is that non-HDL cholesterol can be useful in determining whether an individual needs more aggressive treatment, or more tests when dealing with cholesterol.

Calculating Your Own Non-HDL Cholesterol:

It is possible to calculate your very own non HDL cholesterol levels without having to visit a doctor's office in the first place. All you will need to do is subtract HDL from your complete cholesterol number. To calculate your goal – or what you should be aiming for in terms of non-HDL cholesterol levels, you should simply add thirty to your current LDL goal. You should have gotten this goal from your doctor in the past, or you can ask to see it on your lab report.

Before you get started with new health and dietary solutions for lowering your cholesterol levels, make sure that you discuss your goals with your doctor, and make sure they agree with all of the results you have collected. At this time, your doctor may also provide you with some ideas on how you may be able to successfully lower your cholesterol more quickly than usual.

Cholesterol Levels Chart: