Foods To Boost Your Good Cholesterol
These delicious foods and drinks pack a heart-healthy punch.
It’s likely that you’ve heard of the term “cholesterol” before, and you’re not alone if it makes you feel a little confused. From the low-fat diet era to the current day keto-lovers, there seems to be mixed messaging around cholesterol and how it impacts your health.;
For starters, let’s define it. Cholesterol is a fat-like substance in our blood that our body needs to help make hormones, synthesize vitamin D, digest food and more. Since it’s fat-like and waxy in texture, too much cholesterol in our blood can lead to plaque formation and narrowing of our blood vessels, which can lead to heart disease.;
But not all cholesterols is the samethere are two main types: low-density lipoproteins and high-density lipoproteins . LDLs are often referred to as “bad” or “lousy” cholesterol, as they are more likely to accumulate in our blood vessels. HDLs are coined the “good” or “helpful” cholesterol because they pick up excess cholesterol in the blood, including LDLs, and bring it to the liver where it can be broken down and excreted.;
Tips To Increase Your Good Hdl Cholesterol
Statins are big business, 20 billion dollars worth, but there is conflicting medical evidence that they may not be as effective as they claim to be. New research, conducted to more accurately calculate a patients need for statins is flawed, say two Harvard professors, and one has to wonder why the error is in favor of using more statins.
How Cholesterol Figures Into It
Conventional wisdom says that high blood cholesterol can be serious. Those of us with high blood cholesterol have a greater chance of developing heart disease. High blood cholesterol itself does not cause symptoms, so many people are unaware that their cholesterol level is too high. But what constitutes a high number is still contradicted among doctors, with variables such as age, family heart disease history, lifestyle, and genetic predispositions all factors that may contribute to higher cholesterol readings.
What is Cholesterol?
When cholesterol levels are inadequate, cell membranes become porous, a situation the body interprets as an emergency. It responds by releasing a flood of corticoid hormones that work by sequestering cholesterol from one part of the body and transporting it to the areas where it is lacking. Cholesterol is also the bodys repair material; scar tissue contains high levels of cholesterol, including scar tissue in the arteries.
Confusion Over New Guidelines
5 Tips For Hitting Your HDL Target
Here are some great tips from the Mayo Clinic:
Cut Out The Trans Fatty Acids
Trans fatty acids;are likely present in many of your favorite prepared foods anything in which the nutrition label reads “partially hydrogenated vegetable oils” so eliminating them from the diet is not a trivial task. But trans fatty acids not only increase LDL cholesterol levels, but they also reduce HDL cholesterol levels. Removing them from your diet will almost certainly result in a measurable increase in HDL levels.;
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Work In Some More Movement To Your Daily Tasks
Do you need to start running every day? Do you need to join a gym or buy a bunch of home fitness equipment? If you want to, go ahead! But there are many other choices, and finding a routine that works for you is whats most important.
Ideally, you want to aim for at least 2.5 hours of moderate physical activity every week. You can break that up however you like. You might focus on doing something every day, or you could dedicate yourself to just a few days per week. The key is to just get started.
For example, do you usually take the elevator? Take the stairs instead. Do you walk your dog every day? Go a little farther than usual, or walk at a faster pace. Need to go shopping? Park farther away than you normally do. Catching up on your favorite TV series? Try stretching, dumbbells or kettlebells while youre watching rather than just sitting on the couch. Also look for chances to bring motion into your daily life, such as walking while you talk on the phone.
If youre feeling good, work up to more intense physical activity, like lap swimming, jogging or hot yoga. Dont overexert yourself, but remember that regular and consistent exercise has benefits beyond managing your cholesterol. It also helps reduce blood pressure and builds your overall physical, mental and emotional well-being.
Even if you just go a little farther or a little faster than you usually do, that extra activity will be a big step in the right direction for your health.
What Are Good Hdl Levels
Achieving the right HDL level in the body is an individual process, and your doctor can give you a specific lab value based on your health. In general, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute recommends that adults over age 20 aim for a total cholesterol blood value of 125 to 200 mg/dL. For HDL, women should aim for 50 mg/dL or higher, and men need 40 mg/dL or higher.
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Saturated And Unsaturated Fat
There are 2 main types of fat: saturated and unsaturated. Eating too many foods high in saturated fat can raise the level of cholesterol in your blood.
Most people in the UK eat too much saturated fat.
Foods high in saturated fat include:
- meat pies
- cakes and biscuits
- foods containing coconut or palm oil
Eating foods that contain unsaturated fat instead of saturated fat can actually help reduce cholesterol levels.
Try to replace foods containing saturated fats with small amounts of;foods high in unsaturated fats, such as:
- oily fish; such as mackerel and salmon
- nuts; such as almonds and cashews
- seeds; such as sunflower and pumpkin seeds
- vegetable oils and spreads; such as rapeseed or;vegetable oil,;sunflower, olive, corn and;walnut oils
High Hdl Cholesterol Issues
Research published by the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology found that people with high levels of C-reactive proteins after having had a heart attack may process high HDL negatively. C-reactive proteins are produced by your liver in response to high levels of inflammation in your body. Instead of acting as a protective factor in heart health, high HDL levels in these people could instead increase the risk of heart disease.
While your levels may still be in the normal range, your body may process HDL differently if you have this type of inflammation. The study looked at blood drawn from 767 nondiabetic people who had recently had a heart attack. They used the data to predict outcomes for the study participants and found that those with high levels of HDL and C-reactive proteins were a particularly high-risk group for heart disease.
Ultimately, more research needs to be done to determine the risks of high HDL in this particular group of people.
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What Is Good Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a fatty substance found in the membranes of the majority of tissues in our body and they are transported in the plasma of the human body. There are two types of cholesterol: Low Density Lipoprotein and High Density Lipoprotein .Bad cholesterol is a type of lipoprotein that carries cholesterol in the blood. This index is not beneficial because it causes excessive cholesterol to enter the blood vessel walls, causing atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction,;
Good cholesterol is a mucus protein and it has a fairly high density. In particular, it is possible to take excess cholesterol in the walls of blood vessels to the liver to metabolize, reducing the risk of stroke and myocardial infarction. If your HDL levels are higher than 60mg / dl, you do not need to worry about cardiovascular disease. However, if your HDL levels are less than 40mg / dl, you need to pay special attention to the symptoms of the body. For that reason, everyone wants to increase the good cholesterol.
Some Misconceptions About LDL And HDL
More Ways To Improve Your Cholesterol Levels
- Move more: For lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, the American Heart Association recommends
- An average of 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity aerobic exercise 3-4 times a week
Find out how healthy your heart is. Our free Heart Risk Assessment can help you pinpoint your personal risk factors for heart disease so you can start taking steps to decrease them today.
If you think someone is having a heart attack or stroke, call 911 immediately.
If you or someone in your family experiences chest pain, one of our many Medical City Healthcare emergency locations or Accredited Chest Pain Centers has you covered. With average wait times posted online, if you do have an emergency, you can spend less time waiting and more time on the moments that matter most.
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How Long Does It Take For Consumed Foods To Help Lower Bad Cholesterol
A 2015 study from Penn State University found that obese or overweight people had a 50% drop in LDL levels after following an avocado-rich, low-fat diet for five weeks. An earlier study from Mexico reported that a similar diet in healthy people with mild hypercholesterolemia reduced total cholesterol by 17% and “bad” LDL cholesterol by 22% after only seven days.
Why Cholesterol Matters For Women
Erin Donnelly Michos, M.D., M.H.S.
Ah, cholesterol and triglycerides. We hear about them all the time. Even foods that might seem good for you on the surface, like fruit-filled yogurt or bran muffins, can contribute to abnormal levels if they contain too much saturated fat or refined sugar, says Erin Michos, M.D., associate director of preventive cardiology at the Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease.
Whats more, many women are at risk for high cholesterol and dont realize it. Approximately 45 percent of women over the age of 20 have a total cholesterol of 200 mg/dl and above, which is considered elevated but a survey by the American Heart Association found that 76 percent of women say they dont even know what their cholesterol values are, Michos says.
Scarier still: Triglycerides, a type of blood fat typically measured alongside cholesterol, are even more risky in women compared with men. This is a problem because womens cholesterol levels can fluctuate quite a bit after menopause and tend to increase with age, putting us at greater risk of heart disease and stroke. Knowing your cholesterol numbers and how to control them is a big step toward staying healthy.
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Peanut Butter And Cholesterol
Many high-fat foods are also high in cholesterol think bacon and full-fat cheese. But being high in fat doesnt necessarily mean cholesterol will follow. As a matter of fact, we get cholesterol only from animal products. So, fatty plant foods such as nuts and avocados have virtually no cholesterol at all!
According to the American Heart Association, nuts are high in protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Some of them, like walnuts, are also a good source of omega-3 fats, which are great for your heart. So nut butters, including peanut butter, contain lots of nutrients and no cholesterol, making for a pretty heart-healthy snack.
Another bonus: The Journal of the American Medical Association reported in a 2002 study that women who consumed peanut butter more than five times per week had significantly reduced risks of type 2 diabetes compared to women who rarely ate peanut butter.
Now lets compare: When it comes to grinding these nuts up and spreading them on your sandwich, whats the best bet?
The three most popular nut butters are peanut butter, almond butter, and cashew butter. Weve compared them side-by-side to find out which packs the most nutritional punch. And it turns out, the race is pretty close.
We compared 1 tablespoon of each unsalted natural nut butter.
With similar calorie counts, nutrient breakdowns, and low saturated fat levels, any one of these nut butters would be a healthful choice, in moderation.
Take A Few Laps At The Pool
Swimming is probably the most joint-saving aerobic exercise you can do. In a 2010 study, researchers compared swimming with walking in women aged 50 to 70 years. They found that swimming improved body weight, body fat distribution, and LDL cholesterol levels better than walking did.
Researchers also looked at the beneficial effects of swimming in men in the International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education. They found that swimmers had 53 percent, 50 percent, and 49 percent lower risk of dying from any cause than did men who were sedentary, walkers, or runners, respectively.
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What Is Hdl Cholesterol
High-density lipoprotein is a protective form of cholesterol that carries bad cholesterol away from the arteries and into the liver where it can be broken down and eliminated from the body.
When your HDL is high60 milligrams per deciliter or higheryour risk of heart attack or heart disease is lower. When your HDL is lowfor women less than 50 mg/dl, for men less than 40 mg/dlyour chances of having a heart attack or heart disease are increased.
Here are several types of foods you should consider eating more often to raise your HDL and lower your LDL.
What Should I Eat To Increase My Hdl
Start incorporating the following Mediterranean-style and HDL-friendly foods into your daily diet. Olive oil. The type of heart-healthy fat found in olives and olive oil can lower the inflammatory impact of LDL cholesterol on your body. Beans and legumes. Whole grains. High-fiber fruit. Fatty fish. Flax. Nuts. Chia seeds.
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Start An Exercise Program To Raise Hdl Cholesterol
Regular exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and can also increase HDL cholesterol levels. Aerobic exercises, such as running, biking, and swimming, along with moderate weight training are good choices to help best boost those good cholesterol levels.
For women after menopause, a study published in August 2016 in the journal Diabetes & Metabolism found that high intensity interval training led to better HDL cholesterol levels as well as significant weight loss. And a;study published in May 2016 in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism;found that obese men who engaged in aerobic interval training or resistance training just three days a week for 12 weeks had significantly increased HDL cholesterol when compared with obese men who did no training.
Exercise is excellent because it may independently raise your HDL, but also leads to weight loss, which may account for additional gains in your HDL, says Haitham Ahmed, MD, MPH, a preventive cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.
Question: How Do You Raise Your Good Cholesterol
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5 Ways to Raise Your HDL Cholesterol Get active. Physical activity can boost your HDL level. Lose extra weight. If youre overweight, losing extra pounds can help raise your HDL levels, as well as cut your LDL cholesterol levels. Choose better fats. Alcohol in moderation. Stop smoking.
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Strike A Few Yoga Poses
After all this talk about aerobic exercise and lifting weights, it may seem odd that yoga would show up on the list. After all, yoga is mostly stretching, right?
Studies show, however, that yoga may reduce risk of heart disease. In some cases, it may directly affect cholesterol levels.
Researchers reported in the Indian Heart Journal that a three-month yoga program helped reduce total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. It also improved HDL cholesterol levels in diabetics. The participants practiced for about one hour a day.
In a large study review published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, those who regularly practiced yoga showed significant improvement in LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and blood pressure over those who didnt exercise.
Increasing Hdl Cholesterol Naturally
How can you raise HDL level in the blood to its recommended level of 60mg/dl is certainly the next question in your mind. Well, your doctor will recommend several ways to increase your HDL level, such as exercising, low intake of saturated fats and quit smoking. Apart from this, you can eat foods that increase HDL.
Natural ways to raise good cholesterol include
- Change your life style.
- Exercise daily.
- Regular brisk walk for thirty minutes.
- Do not eat saturated fats. Use mono and polyunsaturated fats such as olive oil, or canola oil as a cooking medium. Eat food containing omega 3 fatty acids.
There are no special medicines to raise good cholesterol. Medicines used to lower LDL cholesterol may have a positive effect of raising good cholesterol.
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Add Coconut Oil To The Diet
Studies have shown that coconut oil may reduce appetite, increase metabolic rate, and help protect brain health, among other benefits.
Some people may be concerned about coconut oils effects on heart health due to its high saturated fat content. However, it appears that coconut oil is actually quite heart-healthy.
Some studies have shown that coconut oil tends to raise HDL cholesterol more than many other types of fat.
In addition, some studies have shown that coconut oil may improve the ratio of low-density lipoprotein , or bad, cholesterol to HDL cholesterol. Improving this ratio reduces heart disease risk .
One study examined the health effects of coconut oil consumption in 40 females with excess abdominal fat. The researchers found that those who took coconut oil daily had increased HDL cholesterol and a lower LDL-to-HDL ratio.
In contrast, the group who took soybean oil daily had a decrease in HDL cholesterol and an increase in the LDL-to-HDL ratio .
However, more recent reviews suggest that the research into coconut oil and cholesterol is of poor quality, is not conclusive, and often reports that coconut oil can raise the levels of LDL cholesterol. Therefore, more research is needed .
Most studies have found that these health benefits occur at a dosage of about 2 tbsp of coconut oil per day. It is best to incorporate this into cooking rather than eating spoonfuls of coconut oil on their own.