Personal Trainer in Harlingen | Rio Grande Valley

See my “thumbs up” on my Cholesterol results! Here is why:


I had mine checked (part of the annual tuneup) and was very enlightened. I say “one size doesn’t fit all” since there are guidelines, absolutes, and gray area in between.  I bet you’ve been told by your physician to have total cholesterol under 200; HDL (the good) and LDL (the bad) combined, to be healthy. Right? I’m 217. “What?” you say! Not you, Margo, oh fit and lean trainer who eats well! I’m coughing up my personal numbers to you all, here and now, to show you how things are not always as they seem  – based on the “mean” – the population as a whole, further proving to you one size does not fit all!  Your MD may not be an expert in this area, (all due respect) even though you think they “should” be. Your ratio is also important, which is calculated with HDL, LDL and TGL, the latter meaning Triglycerides, the fat in your blood. 

This is where one size doesn’t fit all when looking at the total numbers, and not considering ratios.  Under 200 is great, a goal, yet…see me smiling at my results here  (blurred on purpose to hide private info)!   I’m in thefantastic range, even though, yes, my total cholesterol is over 200. Read below to see why.  When you get your cholesterol checked and don’t understand the numbers, demand an explanation. Ask for a copy and ask for your ratios. They matter. See below:
  • LDL should be low. Your LDL goal depends on your risk of heart attack and stroke. A very high risk goal may be less then 70.  High risk goal is less then 100. If you are at moderate risk your goal is to have LDL below 130. (Most MD’s will say below 100, that ‘general’ number again).
  • HDL should be high. A good HDL goal is 40 or higher. Over 60 helps protect against a heart attack. Below 40 is known to increase your risk of  heart problems. A high HDL number can offset a high LDL number. 
  • TGL should be less than 150. A level above 150 may increase your risk for heart problems.
ME: LDL: 119 (130 under okay)  HDL:  98 (above 40 good)   TGL:  48 (below 150 best) 
As you can see, my HDL is extremely good . My TGL, off the charts good, LDL still good. Even with these fabulous numbers, my total HDL & LDL is above the “textbook” 200. This is where you need to look at RATIOS as well: 
  • A ratio below 4 as general rule, is good 
  • A ratio below 3.5 as general rule is very good
  • A ratio below 3.0 is excellent
  • A ratio between 2.4 and 2.8 can actually cause a reversal of heart disease
My Ratio: 2.32 – even though, at face value, I’m over 200, the proverbial nirvana number. This is why I’m educating you here and now, things are not always as they seem, following ‘charts’ without further exploration and your ratio. Your test results will have your ratio. 
What causes high cholesterol?
  1. Diet. Eating too much saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol, can raise your cholesterol. These are found in animal foods, such as meats, whole milk, egg yolks, butter, and cheese. Also many packaged/prepared foods, especially snack foods like cookies, crackers, chips.
  2. Weight. Being overweight may raise triglycerides and lower HDL, the good stuff.
  3. Activity.  NOT exercising may raise LDL, the bad stuff AND lower HDL the good stuff.
  4. Smoking may lower HDL, the good stuff, and that one, as I’ve said, you don’t want lowered.
  5. The unavoidable family history or genetic predisposition. You probably know who you are, and fortunately there are safe medications that help those of you affected.
I hope you find this information educational, enlightening, helpful, and most of all, an excuse to go get tested if you have not done so. 
Have a healthy, HDL raising week,