Everyone gets an evaluation of their cholesterol levels as part of a general medical workup. You may have even learned that what you are really concerned with is whether you have too much “bad cholesterol”, or LDL. Well, you should understand that there is no “bad cholesterol”. Everything your body makes is responsible for your species evolving to where we are today. There is innate intelligence that results in where you are right now. But getting off the soap box, I want you to get a clear indicator of the most significant factors to look for in blood work when trying to determine your own cardiovascular risk and for measuring your progress to reducing that risk.
Short story: Look to the ratio of Triglycerides to HDL. The latest research indicates that the most important predictors of heart disease is not just levels but the relative proportions of the blood fats. You should have no more than twice as much triglyceride and 4 times as much LDL cholesterol as you have HDL cholesterol (i.e the ratio should be less than 2). The more HDL the better.
When you have too much triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, your clotting factors increase. This is a bad thing.