Cholesterol Ratio Calculator
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 also plays an important role in digestion.
TG - Triglycerides : mg/dL
Cholesterol / HDL ratio :
Triglycerides / HDL ratio :
LDL / HDL ratio :
Total cholesterol is a measure of both good and bad cholesterol. This cholesterol ratio calculator helps in estimating the following:
- Total Cholesterol
- HDL/ Good Cholesterol
- LDL/ Bad Cholesterol
What Is Cholesterol Ratio, And Why Does It Matter?
Working out the 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.
The American Heart Association recommends that all adults older than 20 have a lipid profile once every four to six years (2).
The optimal ratio is 3.5:1, and higher values indicate an increased risk of heart diseases (3).
Total Cholesterol, HDL, LDL, And Triglycerides
- Total Cholesterol: It is the amount of cholesterol present in your body. This does not give sufficient information about the risk of heart diseases as it combines the levels of both good and bad cholesterol in your blood.
- 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 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.
- 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 strokes. The lower the LDL levels, the lesser the risk of heart diseases. High LDL levels are alarming and need to be referred to a doctor for further investigation.
- 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.
How To Calculate Cholesterol Ratios?
The following three indicators help to know your heart health and assess the risk of heart diseases. These are built as ratios and are therefore called cholesterol ratios.
- 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 diseases.
LDL-HDL RATIO = LDL/HDL
- Triglyceride HDL Ratio: This can be calculated by dividing the triglycerides level by the HDL level. It is not a frequently used indicator, but it is still used to determine the risk of heart diseases.
Triglyceride HDL Ratio = Triglyceride Level/HDL Level
- Total Cholesterol HDL Ratio: 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.
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
- LDL HDL RATIO = LDL/HDL
- Triglyceride HDL Ratio = Triglyceride level/HDL Level
- Total cholesterol HDL (TC HDL) ratio = Total Cholesterol/HDL
Cholesterol Level Chart
The following chart helps in estimating the cholesterol levels and the risk for coronary artery diseases and stroke:
Less than 200mg/dl
240mg/dl and above
60mg/dl and above
40mg/dl and above
Less than 130
159mg/dl and above
199mg/dl and above
Total Cholesterol/HDL Ratio
1.74 - 2.62
How Does Cholesterol Affect The Body?
Cholesterol is the structural component of cell membranes and is required for the synthesis of steroid hormones, bile acids, and vitamin D (3).
The liver is the main organ that processes cholesterol and dietary fat. When we consume foods that are high in fat, especially animal fats, the liver transports this fat along with cholesterol in the form of lipoprotein, which circulates in our bloodstream.
The high levels of circulating cholesterol in the bloodstream, also known as hypercholesterolemia, lead to the deposition of fat in the arteries, narrowing them and causing plaque. This narrowing of arteries leads to blockage and increases the risk of coronary artery disease, stroke, peripheral artery disease, and chronic kidney failure.
There are also some clinical situations wherein the cholesterol levels are too low, and the condition is called hypercholesterolemia. It is usually observed in cases of hyperthyroidism, adrenal insufficiency, liver diseases, depression, eating disorders, cancer, and so on.
It must be noted that too high or too low levels of cholesterol may lead to consequences, as mentioned.
Tips To Lower Cholesterol Levels
- Follow A Healthy Diet: A diet high in saturated fat and cholesterol leads to a rise in your blood cholesterol levels. Avoiding foods high in saturated fats, such as animal fats, dairy, chocolates, deep-fried foods, baked foods, chocolates, and processed foods, can help in reducing the cholesterol levels. Consume foods high in omega-3 fatty acids such as fish, walnuts, etc.
- Increase Fiber Intake: Choose foods high in fiber, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. The fiber from the foods binds with excessive cholesterol and eliminates it in the stool.
- Watch Your Weight: Being overweight is a risk factor for various heart diseases and also leads to increased cholesterol levels. Maintaining an ideal body weight helps increase HDL (good cholesterol), thereby decreasing LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglyceride levels.
- Indulge In Physical Activity: Regular physical activity for 30 minutes a day helps in reducing weight and lowering LDL cholesterol and raising HDL cholesterol
- Quit Smoking: Smoking lowers HDL cholesterol and increases LDL cholesterol levels, which leads to the deposition of fat in the arteries. Quitting smoking can help in increasing HDL cholesterol.
- Manage Stress: Chronic stress can impact your cholesterol levels, leading to an increase in LDL cholesterol and a decrease in HDL cholesterol levels. Effective management of stress goes a long way in maintaining cholesterol levels.
- Reduce Alcohol Consumption: Avoiding alcohol or reducing its intake can help in lowering triglycerides.
- Drug Treatment: If lifestyle changes are not helpful in lowering cholesterol levels to the desired levels, it is essential to seek medical help. Your doctor may prescribe cholesterol-lowering medications that lower cholesterol levels, decrease the risk of heart disease, and prolong longevity. However, one cannot rely only on medicines but should also continue making lifestyle changes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is 2.7 a good cholesterol ratio?
Yes, a cholesterol ratio below 3.5:1 is considered good.
What is a healthy cholesterol ratio by age?
A cholesterol level less than 170mg/dl is considered good for people under 19 years. Whereas for adults above 20 years, up to 130 mg/dl is fine.
Is a cholesterol level of 5.5 high?
Yes. A cholesterol level of 5.5 is more than the 3.5:1 ratio. Therefore, it is considered as high.