How to increase your good cholesterol levels

How to increase your good cholesterol levels

stay fitHDL or High Density lipoprotiens help to protect against cardiovascular diseases and low HDL cholesterol levels (less than 40 mg/dL) increase the risk for heart disease. Levels above 60 mg/dL are considered good and should be ideally maintained.

HDL cholesterol, or “good” cholesterol, appears to clear the walls of blood vessels, cleaning out excess cholesterol. It then carries that excess cholesterol which otherwise might have been used to make the “plaques” that cause coronary artery disease(CAD) back to the liver for processing. So while measuring a person’s HDL cholesterol level, we seem to be measuring how vigorously his or her blood vessels are being “scrubbed” free of cholesterol.

How can We Increase Our HDL Levels?
Aerobic exercise-Many people don’t like to hear it, but regular aerobic exercise (any exercise, such as walking, jogging or bike riding, that raises your heart rate for 20 to 30 minutes at a time) may be the most effective way to increase HDL levels.
Lose weight– Obesity not only increases your LDL cholesterol, but also reduces the HDL cholesterol. If you are overweight, reducing your weight should increase your HDL levels. This is especially important if your excess weight is stored in your abdominal area.
Stop smoking-If you smoke, giving up tobacco will result in an increase in HDL levels.

Increase the monounsaturated fats in your diet-Monounsaturated fats such as canola oil or olive oil and in the fats found in peanut butter/nuts(restricted amounts) can increase HDL cholesterol levels without increasing the total cholesterol.

Add soluble fiber to your diet-Soluble fibers are found in oats, fruits, vegetables and legumes and result in both a reduction in LDL cholesterol and an increase in HDL cholesterol. For best results, at least two servings a day should be used.

Eliminate Trans Fatty Acids -Trans fatty acids are bad because they not only reduce HDL cholesterol, but they increase LDL cholesterol. These can be identified as partially hydrogenated vegetable oils on many nutrition labels on foods.

Avoid Ultra Low Fat Diets -Losing weight is always good for your health, but having too little fat in your diet can be a problem. It has been proven that eliminating too much fat from your diet can reduce your HDL cholesterol. Lose weight in a healthy way.

Sanjana M Shenoy is a A dietitian from Mangalore, Karnataka, India. Having worked as a Dietitian for the Manipal Group of Hospitals namely KMC hospital Mangalore, India. She is also a consultant for corporate's like Infosys and others, conducting talks and presentations for various associations and local television shows. She consults at her Diet and Nutrition clinic "Nutrihealth" in Mangalore. Also is a visiting consultant to various hospitals in and around Mangalore and also runs an active online consultation.

3 Replies to “How to increase your good cholesterol levels”

  1. TEN ways to fight Cholesterol,in a nut shell.

    1)Regular exercise.
    2)Manage your body weight.
    3)Stop smoking and drinking.
    4)Avoid saturated fat.
    5)Eat vegetables and fruits.
    6)Have low cholesterol diet.
    7)Consume less salt.
    8)Eat frequent small meals.
    9)Consume Isabgol.
    10)Get blood tests done for cholesterol.

  2. I happened to read a news item about vegetables to fight Cholesterol which appeared in the magazine The Week. I am sharing the same with all.

    Radish and green salads help to fight cholesterol. These are known to accelerate bile-flow ,which cleans up the bile ducts ,making it easier for excess cholesterol to pass out of the body. Certain herbs containing oil too, help lower cholesterol levels.

  3. Great article there.. Extremely useful and informative.. Kudos to Sanjana.. Atherosclerosis(coronary artery disease) is preventable but people lace proper awareness.. you hit the nail on the head..

    Great posts like this definitely spread the much required awareness.. Congrats again..

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