Total Cholesterol: A high cholesterol in the blood is a major risk factor for heart and blood vessel disease. Cholesterol in itself is not all bad, in fact, our bodies need a certain amount of this substance to function properly. However, when the level gets too high, vascular disease can result. A total cholesterol of less than 200, and an LDL Cholesterol of 100 or less is considered optimal by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The levels that your doctor will recommend depend upon whether you are at high risk for cardiovascular disease.
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