I know LDL cholesterol is known as the "bad" artery clogging cholesterol, but are there healthy levels that are good for you?
Depends on Particles. Ldl can be estimated by cholesterol (ldl-c) or measured by particle number (apob or NMR ldl-p). However, ldl-c and ldl-p do not equally predict cardiovascular risk. When ldl-c and ldl-p values disagree (due to cholesterol variability per particle) cvd risk tracks with LDL particle number, not ldl-c values. Ideal ldl-p values are <1000 nmol/l for high risk patients and <1300 nmol for everyone else.
LDL Not Cholesterol. Cholesterol, a fat made by all our cells & ~30% of fat molecules of all our cell membranes, has never been the correct issue. It was promoted because (as a fat within all lipoprotein particles) it was cheaper to measure & if very high (esp. Fasting) tended to correlate with high LDL particle concentrations. In the later 1970's lipoprotein measurements cost ~$5, 000/sample. Nmr particle test <$100.
Less than 100 mg/dL. Is considered optimal. For someone with diabetes or cardiovascular disease, a level of under 70 is considered better. With ldl, it seems that the lower it is the better.