My cholesterol level was 220 and my triglyceride level was 304. I seldom drink. I don’t eat sweets.

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I’m a 28-year-old male that recently had a full-blown blood panel done. To my surprise, my cholesterol level was 220 (HDL = 39, LDL = 120) and my triglyceride level was 304!!! I’m not overweight, I seldom drink and I have what I consider an average diet for a male my age (O.K. maybe more fries than I should now and then). I don’t eat sweets, except for a daily Mocha or two (with extra chocolate). Could these sweet little chocolate drinks be sending my triglyceride levels through the roof? I think I can work on reducing my cholesterol level through better diet and more exercise, but what about these triglycerides?

Your cholesterol should be below 200, HDL cholesterol 30 – 80 mg/dl and LDL less than 130 mg/dl. Both your HDL and LDL are within normal ranges. What is your VLDL cholesterol?

To reduce the “bad” cholesterol (LDL) you should reduce the amount of saturated fat in your diet. Read the cholesterol & saturated fat topic for more details.

Your triglycerides are high and should be less than 150 mg/dl. Until your triglycerides come down below normal, you should avoid all alcohol, sugar and concentrated sweets including your daily mocha.

If you are exercising 3 to 5 times per week for at least 30 minutes, then you may want to talk to an exercise physiologist to tailor an exercise program for you. Exercise helps increase the “good” cholesterol HDL.