Know Your Numbers: Cholesterol & Triglycerides

Lab Value

Target Number

LDL Cholesterol


Diabetic <2.0mmol/L

HDL Cholesterol

Men   >1.03mmol/L

Women >1.3mmol/L



Total Cholesterol/HDL ratio











Keeping your blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels within a healthy range is an important way to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke and an important first step is knowing and understanding your numbers:

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is naturally found in your blood stream and is important for various functions in your body such as hormone and cell formation. There are two different types of cholesterol in your body, LDL and HDL.

LDL Cholesterol is considered the “bad” cholesterol-(think “L” for “lousy”)-because it adds to the plaque along your artery walls which increases your risk for heart disease and stroke. You want this number to be as low as possible to minimize your risk.

HDL Cholesterol is considered the “good” cholesterol- (think “H” for “healthy)-because it picks up excess bad cholesterol and takes it to your liver where it is broken down and therefore helps to prevent excess plaque build up in your arteries. You want this number to be as high as possible.

What are triglycerides?

Triglycerides are a type of fat that is found in your bloodstream. If you regularly eat more calories than you burn, particularly from high fat/high sugar meals and desserts, you may have high triglyceride levels in your blood. You want this number to be as low as possible.






Read more about Health Facts.

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