LDL Cholesterol Calculator

Medically reviewed by Gabrielle Kane, RDN, CSP, LD Gabrielle Kane Gabrielle KaneRDN, CSP, LD facebook_iconinsta_icon
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LDL Cholesterol, often referred to as bad cholesterol, is a component in our body that determines the risk of cholesterol build-up in the arteries. Hence, it is important to be aware of the required levels and seek medical help if it increases. Keep scrolling and check out our LDL calculator below, which gives an automated calculation of the LDL levels in your body by using the renowned Friedewald equation (1).


HDL - High-Density Lipoproteins:

HDL - High-Density Lipoproteins:


What Is The LDL Calculator?

The LDL Cholesterol Calculator helps to estimate the amount of LDL in your body based on the measures of HDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides in your lipid panel. The Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC) recommends adults get tested once every four to six years to determine the risk factors for heart issues. Children should be tested at least once between the ages of 9 and 11 and once again between the ages of 17 and 21 (2).

Why Is Cholesterol Important For The Human Body?

The body needs cholesterol to produce hormones that help maintain a healthy metabolism and build cell structure. However, too much of it, especially LDL cholesterol, can be detrimental to your health. Elevated LDL (low-density lipoproteins) cholesterol is correlated to cardiovascular issues and numerous other health problems. On the other hand, high HDL (good cholesterol) levels help reduce the risk of cardiovascular conditions and stroke (3). Therefore, it is essential to keep track of your LDL cholesterol levels and take measures to keep it low.

How To Calculate LDL Cholesterol

The Friedewald equation is widely used to calculate LDL-C concentration when a lipid profile is performed. The equation is:

LDL cholesterol (mg/dL) = total cholesterol – HDL cholesterol – (triglycerides/5)

Here, “triglycerides/5” represents very low-density lipoprotein-C (VLDL-C). This equation is the best way to get a reliable estimate of LDL-C when the triglyceride level is between 1.13 and 4.35 mmol/L (100 to 400 mg/dL).

What Is A Normal LDL Level?

For adults, LDL cholesterol levels should be less than 100 mg/dL. Levels between 100 to 129 mg/dL do not indicate any risks for healthy people but may be a warning for those with a history of heart disease. A reading of 130 to 159 mg/dL is borderline high and 160 to 189 mg/dL is considered high. A reading of 190 mg/dL or higher is considered very high and calls for immediate medical help (4).

LDL cholesterol levels for children should be even lower than those of adults. The optimal range of LDL cholesterol for a healthy child should be less than 110 mg/dL. A borderline high level ranges from 110 to 129 mg/dL, while a reading over 130 mg/dL is considered very high (5).

How To Lower LDL Naturally

Following the right diet, getting proper exercise, and quitting a few bad lifestyle habits, like smoking and consuming alcohol, can easily bring down your LDL levels.
We have listed below the best foods and exercises that help reduce the LDL levels in your body and promote good health.

Food That Lowers Cholesterol

Though it is recommended to consume food keeping your LDL levels in mind, it does not mean you cannot have a satisfactory meal. You might be deprived of a few of your favorite dishes, but there are plenty of options to substitute them in your diet. Here are a few tips to follow:

  1. Avoid trans and saturated fats. Trans fat increases our risk of heart disease by 27% by increasing LDL cholesterol and lowering HDL cholesterol in your blood (6).
  2. Consume more polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats as both help lower LDL (7). Include plant-derived oils, such as canola, sunflower, olive, safflower, grapeseed, and peanut oils in your diet. They contain both types of fatty acids. Nuts, seeds, avocados, soybeans, and fatty fish such as tuna, salmon, herring, trout, and mackerel, are also great sources.
  3. Consume a fiber-rich diet. Add a lot of fruits such as apples, grapes, strawberries, and citrus fruits and vegetables such as leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, and pumpkin to your diet.
  4. Consume foods with sterols and stanols, like nuts, seeds, wheat germ, etc., as they boost the body’s ability to absorb cholesterol from food.
  5. Try fatty fish such as tuna, wild salmon, sardines, etc. They have omega-3 fats, which reduce triglycerides in the bloodstream and protect the heart by regulating and maintaining its natural rhythm.

Exercise To Lower Cholesterol

If your cholesterol levels are bordering on the high side, including regular exercise in your daily routine is a healthy decision. The right kinds of workouts, done regularly, can raise HDL cholesterol levels and drop triglyceride levels to protect your heart. As per research, a combination of aerobic exercise (cardio) and resistance training reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease (8). Try to do 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75-150 minutes of high-intensity exercise weekly (9). You can also make your workouts more exciting by combining moderate and vigorous activities.

When Not To Use The LDL Calculator

The Friedewald equation that is used by the LDL calculator is not valid for patients with TGs >400 and in patients with type 3 dysbetalipoproteinemia (a genetic condition of fat metabolism) (10). Moreover, the results and recommendations provided by this calculator are intended only to inform and are not meant to replace clinical judgment.
Measuring your cholesterol levels is important to avoid the risk of cardiovascular issues. A higher cholesterol level, especially LDL (bad cholesterol), may indicate a greater risk of having a heart attack. The LDL calculator helps you track your LDL levels so that you can keep it in check and take appropriate measures whenever it increases. However, remember not to rely solely on this calculator and get periodic lipid panel tests, as suggested by the doctor. Apart from that, consume a healthy diet and exercise regularly to keep your cholesterol levels in control.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I lower my LDL fast?

Lifestyle changes can help lower the risk of high cholesterol in about 3 months or more. You have to exercise regularly and consume a healthy diet. You may also consult a doctor and take cholesterol-lowering drugs for faster effects.

What should be the ideal cholesterol levels for a 70-year-old person?

A total cholesterol level of less than 200 mg/dL is considered best for adults. Research suggests that cholesterol levels tend to increase from middle age till about 60 years and then decline after that (11).


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  1. Validation of the Friedewald Formula in Patients with Metabolic Syndrome
  2. Get a Cholesterol Test
  3. LDL and HDL Cholesterol and Triglycerides
  4. Cholesterol Levels
  5. Hyperlipidemia / Cholesterol Problems in Children
  6. Trans fats—sources health risks and alternative approach – A review
  7. Effect of a diet enriched with monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fatty acids on levels of low-density and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in healthy women and men
  8. Comparative effectiveness of aerobic resistance and combined training on cardiovascular disease risk factors: A randomized controlled trial
  9. Physical Activity
  10. Comparison of Friedewald’s formula modified Friedewald’s formula and Anandaraja’s formula with direct homogenous serum LDL cholesterol method in CHD patients
  11. Longitudinal Trajectories of Cholesterol from Midlife through Late Life According to Apolipoprotein E Allele Status – PMC

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Gabrielle Kane

Gabrielle KaneMS, RDN, CSP, LD

Gabby is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with 11 years of experience. She is also the founder of Peak Performance Nutrition LLC in Houston, Texas. She coaches both adults and children to their peak health using the power of sustainable lifestyle change. In addition to a BA in Nutrition and Psychology from Case Western Reserve University, she also has a Master's...read full bio