It has puzzled me why my Total Cholesterol number keeps going up.  Finally the light bulb goes on.  For some reason, I have never seen the actual formula for calculating Total Cholesterol.   Stumbled upon it.

Total Cholesterol = HDL + LDL+ 20 percent of your triglyceride level.

It should be less than 180 mg/dL.

However, when it comes to HDL (good) cholesterol, higher levels are better.

Basically, when your HDLs are low, your LDLs (bad cholesterol) are high, and your triglycerides (fats in your bloodstream) are too, you [theoretically] put yourself at risk for atherosclerosis, buildup in your arterial walls that contributes to heart attacks and stroke.

The average total cholesterol level for adult Americans is about 200 mg/dL, which is borderline high risk, according to The American Heart Association.


Now let’s calculate my last blood work.

HDL 119 + LDL 104 + (20% x triglycerides 51) = 233 which is HIGH.

To get it below 180, I need to drop my LDL by 53 points down to 51 since I don’t want to drop my HDL in any amount, and I would have to stop eating to get my triglycerides to Zero.

I’m not so sure that an LDL score of 51 is achievable or even healthy.

So Optimal HDL plus Near Optimal LDL plus 20% of Optimal Triglycerides equals HIGH Total-C.

This is what happens when all you look at is the final number and not the components.   My good numbers add up to a bad number.  Strange world.

Just shows the silliness of this measure.