Can High Hdl Account For High Total Cholesterol?

Question

Asked by mizzemm

Can High Hdl Account For High Total Cholesterol?

Hi Lisa - I just had a physical today and got the breakdown of my cholesterol results: 209 total: HDL 93, LDL 101, which I guess means triglycerides were 15? He didn't point those out and I forgot to ask. I also got my bloodwork done again, since last time I had eaten and I was told that could produce false results. I'm still confused though. Assuming these are accurate results, should I be changing my diet in any way? I'm a vegetarian and eat a lot of cheese because I tend to use it as my only protein/ fat...I would be very sad if I had to cut back, as I am in LOVE with cheese. But I don't want it to keep rising as I get older! My father is on medication for HBP and my mother's levels are high. However, I have a very different diet and lifestyle than they do. The doctor suggested cutting back on cheese, but also said that the slightly high LDL is essentially canceled out by the very high HDL...so do I have to beware of cheese or not?! Thanks for your help....

Answer

Hi Mizzemm,

Here are the recommendations of the American Heart Association:

Total cholesterol less than 200
HDL cholesterol at least > 40, ideally > 60
LDL cholesterol at least less than 130, ideally less than 100
Triglycerides less than 150

So, according to your lab results your levels are:

HDL - 93 (above 60 which is good)
LDL - 101 (less than 130, almost 100 - great)
Triglycerides - 75 (multiply the 15 by 5 to get your total triglycerides - and 75 is great)

From the labs you've provided your numbers look very good, even with a total slightly above 200. However, it never hurts to make positive diet and lifestyle changes to keep your levels within healthy ranges. Since your levels look good, I would not get overly concerned with your cheese intake, but look at other areas to make sure you're on track. Examples would be making sure your trans fatty acid intake is minimal/zero, alcohol consumption low/moderate, activity level high, etc. Here is a link to information on a diet to lower cholesterol - http://www.healthcentral.com/cholesterol/lifestyle.html?ic=4026.

All the best,
Lisa Nelson RD
How to Lower Cholesterol in 8 Simple Steps

Answered by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN