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Non HDL Cholesterol


Your total cholesterol is broken down into 2 main components; HDL (good) cholesterol and LDL (bad). There are more types of harmful cholesterol in your blood than just LDL - these include VLDL (very low-density lipoproteins) and other lipoproteins which are thought to be even more harmful than LDL cholesterol. Non-HDL cholesterol is calculated by subtracting your HDL cholesterol value from your total cholesterol. It therefore includes all the non-protective and potentially harmful cholesterol in your blood, not just LDL. As such, it is considered to be a better marker for cardiovascular risk than total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. The recommended level of non-HDL cholesterol is below 4 mmol/L.

What might a low result mean?

A low result is thought to be protective against cardiovascular disease as it means that you have low levels of potentially damaging lipoproteins circulating in your blood.

What might a high result mean?

A high result is thought to increase your risk of cardiovascular disease as it means that you have higher levels of damaging lipoproteins in your blood.

How might I improve my result?

You can aim to improve your non-HDL cholesterol by taking measures to increase your HDL cholesterol while at the same time reducing your LDL cholesterol. Aim to reduce the amount of saturated animal fats you eat and replace with healthy oils from fatty fish (salmon, herring and sardines) and plants (olive oil, seeds and nuts).

Losing weight if you are overweight or obese can help, as can taking more exercise, especially if you are sedentary.