Consider ranges rather than numbers.
There are the LDL and HDL levels and then there is the total cholesterol level. A balance within a healthy range is what you’re trying to achieve. Generally speaking:
- LDL levels above 100 correlate to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease
- Total cholesterol levels (which includes LDL, HDL, VLDL [very low-density lipoprotein], and triglycerides) above 200 (mg/dL) indicate higher risk of cardiovascular disease
- The optimal range for most people for LDL is 65-80
- The optimal range for most people for total cholesterol is 125-165
The problem with the increasing rates of heart disease in North America isn’t due to “bad” cholesterol, per se.
It’s the result of lifestyle and diet.
A sedentary person who eats the chemicals and refined sugar in processed foods runs an exponentially higher risk of poisoning the heart and circulatory system than someone who is moderately active and eats whole, fresh, chemical-free food.
Why did this happen?
When fats and cholesterol were demonized in the ’70s and ’80s, people cut fats out of their diets. But they had to eat something.
So they ate more carbohydrates.
It’s the extra sugar (carbohydrates are basically different forms of sugar) that is causing the rise in the biggest killers in America: diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Reducing the amount of carbohydrates in favor of more proteins and healthy fats in your diet will naturally bring your cholesterol levels down without pharmaceuticals.
For added impact, cooked tomatoes especially have been found to be as effective as statin drugs in reducing LDL cholesterol. Cinnamon reduces both cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Healthy fats found in avocados, coconut oil, and fish in addition to proteins in lean meats, eggs, quinoa, and legumes will help to even out cholesterol.
Eat smart and feel well.