HDL LDL Ratio – Is this ratio an accurate predictor of heart problems?

by Colin Carmichael

Do you know what your HDL/LDL ratio is … and what it means?

There is a lot of confusion when it comes to looking at and evaluating cholesterol numbers.

“My tests show my total cholesterol is over 200 and my doctor wants me to get it down.”

“My doctor says my LDL is too high and needs to be below 100.”

“All I know is that I'm supposed to increase my HDL and lower my LDL.”

So which stat is the most important indicator and predictor of a heart attack or stroke?

Is it your total cholesterol? Is it your LDL?

Or is the “good” HDL cholesterol is the best indicator?

Believe it or not, the answer is really … none of the above.

And yet, it's all of the above.

Let me explain…

While too much LDL will put you at risk and too little HDL is not good either, it’s the relationship between the two that tells a better story of whether or not you’re at a higher risk of heart and cardiovascular problems.

So what's the best number to look at?…

It’s your HDL to LDL cholesterol ratio.

Here’s what you need to know…

The more HDL you have, the more LDL you can get away with and be okay.

The lower your HDL, the less room you have for error when it comes to the bad LDL.

You can easily calculate your HDL ratio by taking your raw HDL number and dividing it by your LDL number.

So let’s say your HDL is 45 mg/dl and your LDL is 144 mg.

Simply take out a calculator and enter in this formula: 45 / 144

And that calculates to .3125 being your HDL/LDL ratio.

What should your HDL/LDL cholesterol ratio be?

Anything below a .30 HDL/LDL ratio is a pretty serious warning sign.

In the .40 range is considered a normal HDL/LDL ratio.

You should try to get to an optimal ratio of .60 or above to significantly reduce your heart disease risk.

Bottom line: The higher this ratio the better.

If you take a closer look at the ratio's formula, it's easy to see how having higher HDL affects how much LDL you can have and still be “okay” with your heart risk.

If your HDL is only 30, your LDL should be no higher than 100 and ideally, no higher than 75.

But get your HDL up to 60, and your LDL can be as high as 150 and you’ll still be in the normal .40 range.

Note: Some like to look at this ratio as LDL/HDL instead of HDL/LDL. Either way, it's the same relationship that's being looked at. It's just stated a different way. Just know that if it's calculated using LDL as the numerator in the equation you'll want the ratio number to be lower, not higher.

Even though many of the same factors affect both LDL and HDL, many find it’s easier to get their LDL number down than it is to increase HDL.

For a list of the most effective and easy-to-use ways to boost your HDL numbers and improve your HDL/LDL ratio, you might want to see these natural cholesterol tips.


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