Is there a cholesterol value more helpful than total cholesterol?

HDL, TG. HDL (good cholesterol) should be >60. Triglycerides (bad cholesterol) should be <100. Consuming high amounts of carbs lowers HDL and increases TG. Consuming healthy fat, protein, and vegetables increases HDL, decreases TG. If your HDL is quite high and TG low, then do not worry about just elevated total cholesterol.