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l. You want to have your total number below 200

2. HDL or "Good Cholesterol", the higher the better. Men ideally 40 and above. For Women, 50 or above.

3. Your LDL "Bad Cholesterol" under 130 is the target for most people. But that can drop to less than 100, depending upon your overall risk for heart disease. The optimum number for triglycerides is below 150.

Total and LDL cholesterol ("Bad")

They deposit plaque on the walls of arteries and other blood vessels. Lowering it is vital to your health.

Eating garlic will not make a significant reduction in low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the bad cholesterol. The results do not demonstrate, however, that the popular dietary supplement is not usefulness in the prevention of cardiovascular disease.

HDL Cholesterol ("Good")

Acts as a waste remover, taking cholesterol from the blood and artery walls to the liver to be eliminated from the body Raising your HDL levels is equally important.

To lower your cholesterol if it is too high, you should limit saturated fat to less than 7 percent of total calories; limiting dietary cholesterol to less than 200 mg per day; and exercising at least 30 minutes a day at least five (5) days a week. This could include aerobic activities like a brisk walk, swimming or tennis. Before you begin a exercise regime, you should always check with your healthcare provider first.

Occasionally this will not bring down your LDL and at that point you will need a cholesterol-lowering drug.

One way to deal with bad cholesterol is to visit a registered dietitian; here you will get some sound advice about how to shape up your eating habits, according to a new national study led by University of Michigan Health System researchers. Almost half of those in this study reduced bad cholesterol at least 15 percent.

Not only are you likely to lower your cholesterol levels, you may be able to avoid having to take cholesterol medication, or having to increase your dose if you're already taking one. And most likely will lose weight in the process, which also helps your heart. More..

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