Cholesterol Ratio Calculator

Medically reviewed by Dr. Benjamin Gibson, PAHM, PharmD, Certified Functional Specialist Dr. Benjamin Gibson Dr. Benjamin GibsonPAHM, PharmD, Certified Functional Specialist linkedin_icon
Written by , MSc (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach Payal Karnik MSc (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach Experience: 2.5 years
Edited by , BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Arshiya Syeda BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , BTech (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach Sindhu Koganti BTech (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach Experience: 6 years

Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is found in many foods we eat and also in our body’s cells. Our body can make the necessary cholesterol required for its normal functioning. It is used in the synthesis of hormones and vitamin D, and it also plays an important role in digestion (1).


HDL - High-Density Lipoproteins:

HDL - High-Density Lipoproteins:

LDL - Low-Density Lipoproteins:

LDL - Low-Density Lipoproteins:


Total cholesterol is a measure of both good and bad cholesterol (2). This cholesterol ratio calculator helps in estimating the following:

  • Total Cholesterol
  • HDL/ Good Cholesterol
  • LDL/ Bad Cholesterol
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol

What Is Cholesterol Ratio? And Why Does It Matter?

Working out your cholesterol ratio is essential to prevent the risk of coronary artery diseases and strokes. It also allows for a quick diagnosis based on the blood test results, making it easy to assess the general health condition of an individual and heart health (1).

The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and the American College of Endocrinology recommend that all adults older than 20 have a lipid profile done once every four to six years (3).

The optimal ratio is 3.5:1, and higher values indicate an increased risk of heart disease (4).

Total Cholesterol, HDL, LDL, And Triglycerides

  1. Total Cholesterol: It is the amount of cholesterol present in your body. This does not give sufficient information about the risk of heart disease as it combines the levels of both good and bad cholesterol in your blood (5).
  2. HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein): This is also known as good cholesterol. It is a form of cholesterol that is transferred from other parts of your body to the liver to metabolize it and expel it from the body along with bile acids. The levels of this cholesterol should be kept high as it is an indicator of good health. Females have slightly higher HDL levels than males (5).
  3. LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein): It is also known as bad cholesterol. It accumulates in the arteries and can cause serious medical conditions, such as heart attacks and strokes. The lower the LDL levels, the lesser the risk of heart disease. High LDL levels are alarming and need to be referred to a doctor for further investigation (5).
  4. Triglycerides: These are a type of fat. They are transported with your blood. Most of the triglycerides get stored in your body as body fat (5).

How To Calculate Cholesterol Ratios?

The following three indicators help to figure out the status of your heart health and assess the risk of heart disease. These are built as ratios and are, therefore, called cholesterol ratios (6).

  1. LDL-HDL Ratio: It is obtained by dividing the LDL level by the HDL level. The LDL ratio is one of the most popular measures of risk of heart disease. LDL-HDL RATIO = LDL/HDL
  2. Triglyceride-HDL Ratio: This can be calculated by dividing the triglyceride level by the HDL level. It is not a frequently used indicator, but it is still used to determine the risk of heart disease. Triglyceride HDL Ratio = Triglyceride Level/HDL Level
  3. Total Cholesterol-HDL Ratio: To estimate the ratio, divide the total cholesterol level by the HDL level. It is estimated by dividing the total cholesterol level by the HDL level. It is considered as the worst of all the three indicators, and the American Heart Association does not take it into account for the diagnosis of heart diseases. But it can be used to get a general idea of an individual’s health. The cholesterol ratio calculator uses the below formula to calculate the total cholesterol HDL ratio. Total Cholesterol HDL (TC HDL) Ratio = Total Cholesterol/HDL

Example: To estimate the cholesterol ratios of a female aged 35 years, her blood cholesterol values are taken into account. Total Cholesterol – 288mg/dl, Triglycerides – 180, LDL levels – 177 and HDL levels – 58.

Her cholesterol ratio would be

  1. LDL HDL RATIO = LDL/HDL= 177/58=3.0
  2. Triglyceride HDL Ratio = Triglyceride level/HDL Level= 180/58= 3.1
  3. Total cholesterol HDL (TC HDL) ratio = Total Cholesterol/HDL= 288/58= 4.9

Cholesterol Level Chart

The following chart helps in estimating the cholesterol levels and the risk for coronary artery diseases and stroke (2), (6):

UnitDesirableBorderline HighHigh
Total Cholesterolmg/dlLess than 200mg/dl200-239mg/dl240mg/dl and above
HDL Cholesterolmg/dl60mg/dl and above40-59mg/dl40mg/dl and above
LDL Cholesterolmg/dlLess than 130130-159mg/dl159mg/dl and above
Triglyceridesmg/dl<150mg/dl150-199mg/dl199mg/dl and above
LDL/HDL Ratiomg/dl2.0<5.0>5.0
Triglycerides/HDL Ratiomg/dl2.04.0>6.0
Total Cholesterol/HDL Ratiomg/dl<0.871.74 – 2.62>2.62

How Does Cholesterol Affect The Body?

Cholesterol serves as a fundamental component of cell membranes and plays a vital role in synthesizing steroid hormones, bile acids, and vitamin D (1). The primary organ responsible for processing cholesterol and dietary fat is the liver. When you consume high-fat foods, particularly those rich in animal fats, the liver transports this fat along with cholesterol in the form of lipoproteins, which then circulate in your bloodstream (1), (5).

Elevated levels of cholesterol circulating in the bloodstream, a condition known as hypercholesterolemia, can result in the accumulation of fat in the arteries. This buildup narrows the arteries and forms plaque, increasing the risk of coronary artery disease, stroke, peripheral artery disease, and chronic kidney failure (1), (5).

Conversely, sometimes your cholesterol levels can get excessively low, a condition referred to as hypocholesterolemia. This condition is typically observed in cases of hyperthyroidism, adrenal insufficiency, liver diseases, depression, eating disorders, cancer, and more (1), (5).

It is essential to emphasize that both excessively high and extremely low cholesterol levels can lead to adverse consequences.

Tips To Lower Cholesterol Levels

  • Follow A Healthy Diet: Consuming a diet rich in saturated fats and cholesterol results in an increase in your blood cholesterol levels. To reduce cholesterol levels, it is advisable to steer clear of foods high in saturated fats, including animal fats, dairy products, deep-fried and baked items, sugary sweets, and processed foods. Instead, consider incorporating foods abundant in omega-3 fatty acids like fish and walnuts into your diet (7).
  • Increase Fiber Intake: Opt for foods high in dietary fiber, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, as the fiber from these foods binds with excess cholesterol and eliminates it through the stool (8).
  • Watch Your Weight: Being overweight poses a risk for various heart diseases and is linked to elevated cholesterol levels. Maintaining an optimal body weight can boost the levels of HDL (good cholesterol), thus lowering LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglyceride levels (7).
  • Indulge In Physical Activity: Engaging in regular physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day helps in weight reduction and reduces LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL cholesterol (7).
  • Quit Smoking: Smoking diminishes HDL cholesterol and raises LDL cholesterol, resulting in the accumulation of fat in the arteries. Quitting smoking can contribute to elevating HDL cholesterol levels (7).
  • Manage Stress: Chronic stress can adversely affect your cholesterol levels, causing an increase in LDL cholesterol and a decrease in HDL cholesterol levels. Effectively managing stress is crucial for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels (9).
    Reduce Alcohol Consumption: Reducing alcohol consumption or abstaining from it can assist in lowering triglycerides (10).
  • Drug Treatment: If lifestyle modifications do not effectively lower your cholesterol levels to the desired range, it is imperative to seek medical assistance. Your healthcare provider may prescribe cholesterol-lowering medications to reduce cholesterol levels, decrease the risk of heart disease, and extend your lifespan. However, it is essential to note that relying solely on medications is insufficient – you must also continue making lifestyle changes (7).

Frequently Asked Questions

Is 2.7 a good cholesterol ratio?

Yes, a cholesterol ratio below 3.5:1 is considered good (4).

What is a healthy cholesterol ratio by age?

A cholesterol level of less than 170 mg/dl is good for those under 19 years. For adults above 20 years, up to 130 mg/dl is fine (2), (4), (6).

Is a cholesterol level of 5.5 high?

Yes. A cholesterol level of 5.5 is higher than the ideal 3.5:1 ratio. Therefore, it is considered as high (4).


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  1. Physiology, Cholesterol
  2. Cholesterol Levels
  3. American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists/American College of Endocrinology Management of Dyslipidemia and Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease Clinical Practice Guidelines
  4. A triglyceride/high-density lipoprotein ratio > or = 3.5 is associated with an increased burden of coronary artery disease on cardiac catheterization
  5. Chapter 31 Cholesterol, Triglycerides, and Associated Lipoproteins
  6. Lipoprotein ratios: Physiological significance and clinical usefulness in cardiovascular prevention
  7. Lifestyle Change Alone Sufficient to Lower Cholesterol in Male Patient With Moderately Elevated Cholesterol: A Case Report
  8. Soluble Fiber Supplementation and Serum Lipid Profile: A Systematic Review and Dose-Response Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials
  9. What are the effects of psychological stress and physical work on blood lipid profiles?
  10. Alcohol and plasma triglycerides

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Dr. Benjamin Gibson

Dr. Benjamin GibsonPAHM, PharmD, Certified Functional Specialist

Dr. Benjamin Gibson is an award-winning multi-state licensed pharmacist and nutritionist published on PubMed. He is also a best-selling author, international podcast host, international newspaper reporter, and health coach. He has 15 years of experience and a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering and a doctorate in pharmacy. Dr. Gibson helps clients sleep better, lose weight, and get stronger bones full bio