Good Cholesterol - What Is It? Why Is It Imkportant? Can It Help Prevent Heart Disease?
Increasing the GOOD cholesterol Is Raising Your HDL Levels (high density lipoprotein)
HDL cholesterol, or "good" cholesterol, appears to scrub the walls of blood vessels, cleaning out excess cholesterol. It then carries that excess cholesterol back to the liver for processing. Otherwise it might have been used to make the "plaques" that cause coronary artery disease. Thus, when we measure a person's HDL cholesterol level, we are actually measuring how vigorously his or her blood vessels are being "scrubbed" free of cholesterol.
When a person`s good cholesterol, HDL levels is below 40 mg/dL it may result in an increased risk of coronary atery disease. This is so, even in people whose total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels are normal. HDL levels between 40 and 60 mg/dL are considered "normal." However, HDL levels greater than 60 mg/dL may actually protect people from heart disease.
For years, doctors have learned and is of the opinion that the higher the HDL levels, the better it is for one`s health.
How Can You Increase Your HDL Levels?
1. Actually you can increase your "good" cholesterol (high density lipoprotein) by aerobic exercise.
Many people don't like to hear it, but regular aerobic exercise, any exercise. Walking, jogging or bike riding, for 20 to 30 minutes at a time, may raise your heart rate and can be the most effective way to increase HDL levels. Latest findings suggest that the duration of exercise, rather than the intensity, is more important in raising HDL choleserol.Any aerobic exercise helps.
2. By Losing Weight. Obesity not only increases LDL cholesterol, but also reduceds HDL cholesterol. If you are overweight, reducing your weight could increase your HDL levels. This is important if your excess weight is stored in your abdominal area.
3. Stop smoking immediately. If you smoke, giving up tobacco will result in an increase in good cholesterol,HDL levels.
4. Try cutting down the trans fatty acids. Trans fatty acids are in many of your foods. Like in anything in which the nutrition label reads "partially hydrogenated vegetable oils." Eliminating them from your diet. The trans fatty acids not only increase LDL cholesterol levels, they also reduce HDL cholesterol levels. Removing them from your diet will result in an increase in HDL levels.
5. Reduce alcohol intake. One or two drinks per day can significantly increase your HDL levels. But, more than one or two drinks per day, can lead to substantial health problems including heart failure.
6. Increase the intake of monounsaturated fats in your diet. Monounsaturated fats such as avocado oil, olive oil and peanut butter can increase HDL cholesterol levels without increasing the total cholesterol.
7. Add more soluble fiber to your diet. Soluble fibers are found in oats, fruits, vegetables, and legumes. They can result in both a reduction in LDL cholesterol and an increase HDL cholesterol for you.. For best results, eat at least two servings a day.
8. Other dietary foods to increase HDL. Cranberry juice has been shown to increase HDL levels. Fish and other foods containing omega-3 fatty acids can also increase HDL levels. In postmenopausal women calcium supplementation can increase HDL levels.
These are only some of the ways to help you increase your good cholesterol levels the HDL.