How to Calculate Cholesterol Ratio: 11 Steps (with Pictures)

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How to Calculate Cholesterol Ratio: 11 Steps (with Pictures)
How to Calculate Cholesterol Ratio: 11 Steps (with Pictures)

Cholesterol is a natural soft substance produced by the liver, and circulates in the blood to maintain the health of cell membranes. This substance helps to form hormones and vitamins in the body. Cholesterol also comes from the animal foods we eat. A diet high in saturated fat and trans fat will trigger the liver to produce excess cholesterol and increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. To determine how risky your health is, your doctor can perform tests to calculate the ratio between good cholesterol and bad cholesterol in the blood. High cholesterol levels usually reflect narrowing or blockage of blood vessels due to the buildup of plaque produced by cholesterol.


Part 1 of 3: Taking a Cholesterol Test

Calculate Cholesterol Ratio Step 1
Calculate Cholesterol Ratio Step 1

Step 1. Get ready

Make sure you don't eat or drink for 9–12 hours before the test. Water is generally safe to drink, but avoid coffee, tea, alcohol, and carbonated drinks.

Tell your doctor what medications you are currently taking. Certain medications, such as birth control pills, can raise cholesterol levels. You may be advised to skip a dose before having a cholesterol test

Calculate Cholesterol Ratio Step 2
Calculate Cholesterol Ratio Step 2

Step 2. Select a test location

It is recommended to undergo a cholesterol test at the doctor's clinic that usually treats you because they are more aware of age, family history, and other health factors. Such information is important in the interpretation of test results. Since your doctor knows better about this, you'll also receive a more comprehensive plan for treating high cholesterol.

  • There are home test kits that can be used on their own, but they are not supported by most health organizations and associations yet. Make sure you read labels and directions carefully and be careful when reading them. Home test results may not be accurate.
  • Public examinations are not recommended for teenagers and children although they are sometimes cheaper. Adults should exercise caution and ensure inspections are carried out by a reputable company. Examination service providers must employ adequate, reliable recruitment, have well-trained referrals and staff, and required educational materials.
  • There are several companies and offices that provide inspections. Workplace checks focus on small scales with more potential for reciprocity, particularly in follow-up and referrals.
Calculate Cholesterol Ratio Step 3
Calculate Cholesterol Ratio Step 3

Step 3. Calculate the cholesterol ratio

The cholesterol test measures HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. The test is performed by taking a blood sample from the arm, which is then analyzed in a laboratory. The results show cholesterol levels in milligrams per deciliter of blood or millimoles per liter of blood, and will be interpreted by your doctor based on your age, family history and blood pressure.

  • You will get three numbers from the cholesterol test, namely total cholesterol, total HDL (good cholesterol), and total LDL (bad cholesterol). A high overall cholesterol score is not necessarily a bad thing because high levels may be from HDL.
  • Divide the HDL (good cholesterol) number by the total cholesterol number to get the ratio. For example, your total cholesterol level is 200. Your HDL level is 50. That is, your cholesterol ratio is 4:1.
  • A good cholesterol number is below 200 mg/dL (5.2 mmol/L)
  • The near-optimal LDL level is 100–129 mg/dL (2.6–3.3 mmol/L)
  • The best cholesterol level is 60 mg/dL (1.5 mmol/L) and above.
  • The female hormone estrogen makes lizards HDL cholesterol higher.

Part 2 of 3: Preventing High Cholesterol

Calculate Cholesterol Ratio Step 4
Calculate Cholesterol Ratio Step 4

Step 1. Pay attention to blood pressure.

High blood pressure is a leading indicator of heart disease and stroke. If your blood pressure is high, it's due to unhealthy pressure in your heart, arteries, and kidneys and may be caused by high cholesterol.

  • You can control your blood pressure by eating healthy, exercising regularly, reducing stress, keeping fit, avoiding tobacco products, and limiting alcohol. Lifestyle is hard to change. So, consider asking your doctor for a referral to a therapist who can help you with this transition.
  • Most importantly, realize that your blood pressure is high. Symptoms of high blood pressure are very few, even if they are seen. So it's your responsibility to check it out. Have your blood pressure checked every time you visit your doctor, but if you have high blood pressure, your doctor may recommend a self-checking kit for at home.
Calculate Cholesterol Ratio Step 5
Calculate Cholesterol Ratio Step 5

Step 2. Reduce blood sugar levels

Blood sugar levels can lead to complications related to diabetes. Diabetes is often found in patients with low HDL (good cholesterol) and high LDL (bad cholesterol) thereby increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.

  • This condition is called diabetic dyslipidemia. The side effect is atherosclerosis, which is blockage of blood vessels by cholesterol.
  • If you have a family history or risk of diabetes, lose weight, eat healthy, and increase physical activity. It will greatly reduce the development of diabetes.
  • You can also use medication if you have difficulty controlling blood glucose levels, and to prevent heart attacks and strokes.
Calculate Cholesterol Ratio Step 6
Calculate Cholesterol Ratio Step 6

Step 3. Move the body

An active lifestyle is not only beneficial, but also prevents many health problems associated with high cholesterol. Try to do physical activity in daily life. Physical activity can maximize your health, prolong your life, and improve your quality of life.

  • Any activity that keeps the body warm enough to sweat and breathe heavily is heart healthy and helps reduce cholesterol. For example, walking, swimming, cycling, jogging, skiing, or hiking.
  • Choose activities that are comfortable to do and can be enjoyed. You can follow a structured exercise program, individual daily routines, or work out with friends. Remember that you have to enjoy exercise in order to practice it regularly.
Calculate Cholesterol Ratio Step 7
Calculate Cholesterol Ratio Step 7

Step 4. Eat healthier

Healthy eating is the most impactful choice for improving health and lowering the risk of various health problems, including high cholesterol. So, try to adopt a healthier diet.

  • Learn how calories work and how much you should consume each day. Consider that most food labels are based on a 2,000-calorie requirement and you should know whether your needs are more or less than that number according to your age, gender, and level of physical activity. Talk to your doctor or a certified dietitian about how to develop a healthy eating plan for you.
  • In addition to diet, regular physical exercise is also good for maintaining weight and lowering cholesterol.
  • The best strategy is variety and balance. Make sure you get enough nutrients from each of the recommended food groups. Foods rich in minerals, protein, and whole grains are low in calories and can help with weight control.
  • Limit saturated and trans fats, sodium, red meat, and sugary foods and drinks because they can raise cholesterol levels.
  • Do not add salt, sauce, or cream to food.
  • Drink fat-free (skimmed) and low-fat (1 percent) dairy products, choose fiber-rich whole grains, and two to three servings of fruit and vegetables daily.
  • Eat fish containing omega-3 fatty acids twice a week, or consider other omega-3 sources, such as avocado, olive oil, or nuts.
  • Limit alcohol consumption. If you're used to drinking alcohol, then you should only drink one drink per day for women and two for men.
Calculate Cholesterol Ratio Step 8
Calculate Cholesterol Ratio Step 8

Step 5. Lose weight

Maintaining a healthy body weight will reduce the burden on internal organs, especially the heart. A healthy lifestyle can help achieve and maintain a healthy weight that will keep blood pressure in check and keep high cholesterol away.

  • One simple way is to reduce the number of calories in compared to the number of calories burned by the body. If you consume more calories than you burn, your body will store the excess energy as fat and you will gain weight.
  • For example, kg of body weight is equivalent to approximately 3,500 calories. To lose kg per week, you must reduce your calorie intake by about 500 per day through a combination of diet and exercise.
  • Know how many calories you normally consume and take action to cut back on unhealthy foods or reduce them to the required level.
  • You'll have a hard time counting calories if you're in the store. Therefore, make a list of typical foods complete with calories. This way, you can measure the ingredients of food and drink that you buy and eat.

Part 3 of 3: Understanding Cholesterol Risk

Calculate Cholesterol Ratio Step 9
Calculate Cholesterol Ratio Step 9

Step 1. Consider your risk factors

High cholesterol can be deadly because there are rarely any symptoms associated with this condition. Other factors, such as a heart attack or stroke resulting from high cholesterol, should be considered when you decide to have a test.

  • Involve physicians to develop and implement a healthy lifestyle plan to lower cholesterol levels and improve overall health. Your doctor can give you the best advice because they know your medical history and risk factors.
  • High cholesterol is usually a direct result of an unhealthy diet, obesity, lack of exercise, and use of tobacco products. So, try to adjust the diet so that cholesterol decreases. Try reducing meat consumption and increasing fruit and vegetable intake.
Calculate Cholesterol Ratio Step 10
Calculate Cholesterol Ratio Step 10

Step 2. Know the recommended age for screening

Many health organizations recommend that all people between the ages of 20 and 79 undergo screening every four to six years. Other organizations recommend cholesterol testing based on age and risk factors for heart disease.

  • For men, screening is recommended at age 35 or older. However, if you are between the ages of 20 and 35 and are at risk for heart disease, an early screening may be necessary.
  • For women, screening usually begins at age 20. Early screening may be recommended if you are at risk for heart disease.
  • Children will only be screened if the family history indicates they are at risk.
  • All adults who already have high cholesterol, coronary artery disease, or diabetes should have a screening at least once a year.
Calculate Cholesterol Ratio Step 11
Calculate Cholesterol Ratio Step 11

Step 3. Learn about good cholesterol and bad cholesterol

Cholesterol is not soluble in the blood. Instead, cholesterol must be carried through the bloodstream by lipoproteins (lipid proteins). There are older types of lipoprotein carriers, namely low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Total cholesterol is calculated based on LDL and HDL, and one-fifth level of triglycerides (type of fat).

  • LDL, the bad cholesterol, contributes to the thickening and hardening of plaques that clog blood vessels and result in a condition called atherosclerosis. If a clot forms and tries to pass through a blocked blood vessel, blood cannot reach the heart or brain, causing a heart attack or stroke.
  • HDL, the good cholesterol, helps release LDL cholesterol from the blood vessels by bringing it back to the liver for destruction. Blood cholesterol consists of 25–35% HDL.

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