The New Cholesterol Guidelines: What You Need to Know

Nov 06, 2023 By Madison Evans

The medicinal world is constantly evolving and working towards generating better procedures, newer guidelines, and treatment tactics to ensure that human health remains in its best shape and form. Among the many different evolutions in the medicinal world, one major and the most recent upgrade happens to be in the cholesterol segment. We all know that messed up cholesterol levels are a man's worst nightmare, and hence, keeping them in check is essential.

Last updated in November of 2013, it was about time that a newer approach and guideline in this regard was issued. Well, lucky for us, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have worked towards this segment and brought about newer guidelines, which we are sure you'd want to know about. Hop on below to learn more about cholesterol and the newest guidelines related to it.

What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol, a lipid with a waxy consistency, is essential for the body to support overall health. However, maintaining the appropriate cholesterol levels is crucial, as an imbalance can result in elevated blood cholesterol levels, leading to adverse health conditions.

The lipoprotein carries the cholesterol in the blood and is of two types:

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which is also referred to as 'bad' cholestrol

High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is referred to as the 'good' cholesterol.

The lousy cholesterol of LDL leads to plaque formation in the blood vessels, which can lead to conditions like heart attack, stroke, or other health concerns. On the other hand, good cholesterol carries these plaque build-ups and eliminates them from your body.

How Can a Person's Cholesterol Levels Increase?

Now that you have enough information on what good and bad cholesterol is, it is essential to understand how unhealthy cholesterol can increase in the body. Mainly, these unhealthy cholesterol levels are caused by the lifestyle a person carries. Any unhealthy eating patterns, along with the added genetic factor of cholesterol increase in the family, can cause your cholesterol levels to increase significantly. Hence, anyone who has a history of cholesterol in their family should get routine blood tests to check whether or not the cholesterol levels are in the correct range or not.

What are the New Cholesterol Guidelines One Should Know About?

We talked about cholesterol levels being in the proper range in the paragraph above. However, the question is, what is the suitable range for cholesterol levels? Previously, in the medical world, the Low LDL range was considered on a margin of less than 100 mg/DL, while the high (good) LDL was established on a range of 35mg or higher on a total cholesterol scale of less than 170 mg/dl.

While traditional cholesterol level targets have been considered desirable, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association recently introduced new guidelines that adopt a more personalized approach. Instead of relying solely on numerical cut-offs for cholesterol levels, many physicians now emphasize risk assessment.

What does this entail? According to Dr. Janice Huang, a general cardiologist at UCHealth Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs, the approach involves tailoring cholesterol management based on an individual's perceived risk. For those at the highest risk, the goal is to reduce "bad" cholesterol levels as much as possible. If you're interested in learning more about the risk assessments based on these guidelines, the details are provided below.

The Risks:

The risk of cholesterol is assessed based on the history of hypertension, age, total cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol, and smoking. Moreover, according to the new guidelines, those who have CKD (chronic kidney disease), women with a history of pre-eclampsia, or those who are currently in the early stages of menopause also fall on the higher end of the risk.

How Can you Keep your Cholesterol Levels Maintained?

Suppose you are someone with an unhealthy lifestyle, a family history of increased cholesterol, or simply someone whose cholesterol levels are on a high. In that case, we are sure you must be out on a search for natural ways to lower your cholesterol levels. Well, lucky for you, we have that concluded below for you:

Increase your Fiber Intake

Increasing fiber in your diet would be a game-changer when it comes to maintaining your cholesterol levels. This is because when you eat food high in fat or cholesterol, the fiber in your body works as a sponge, and such the unrequired cholesterol. Hence, only the maintained or required levels of cholesterol would remain in your bloodstream.


According to many scientists and researchers, around 75 minutes of high-intensity aerobic exercise or 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity would help in gaining your HDL. The HDL would then help remove any unwanted cholesterol from your bloodstream, keeping you on a healthy margin.

Increase Omega 3 Intake

Triglycerides are the type of fat that can increase the risk of heart disease. Hence, to counter these triglycerides, taking omega-3 is an excellent approach. The omega-3 can be obtained from sources such as fatty fish, nuts, seeds, salmon, etc.

Stop Smoking

Given that smoking is one of the significant reasons why cholesterol levels increase in the body, it is a no-go that one should quit smoking in order to keep the cholesterol levels at bay. If you are a smoker and have a history of increased cholesterol, this is your sign to stop.

Wrapping Up!

The medicinal world is constantly bringing up new guidelines to ensure that the patients are taken better care of. If you are someone who wants to read the cholesterol guidelines and understand how you can keep your cholesterol levels in a normal range, then we hope this article was helpful to you. Let us know what you think about the new working guidelines and whether or not you would want to add something to the ways you can keep your cholesterol levels in the normal range.

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