Myth: I Would Be Able To Feel It If I Had High Cholesterol
Fact: High cholesterol usually has no signs or symptoms. You may not know you have unhealthy cholesterol levels until it is too latewhen you have a heart attack or stroke. Thats why its so important to get your cholesterol levels checked at least every 5 years.1,2 Learn more about getting your cholesterol checked.
Occasionally, some people develop yellowish growths on their skin called xanthomas, which are cholesterol-rich deposits. People with xanthomas may have high cholesterol levels.
Interpreting Hdl Cholesterol Levels
HDL levels below 40 mg/dL are associated with an increased risk of CAD, even in people whose total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels are normal. HDL levels between 40 and 60 mg/dL are considered “normal,” and do not very much affect the risk of CAD one way or the other. However, HDL levels greater than 60 mg/dL are actually associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.
In other words, the dogma has been: the higher the HDL levels, the better.
While this belief is still thought to be almost always true, in recent years a fly has been found in the ointment. Drug companies have spent billions of dollars developing drugs that increase HDL cholesterol levels. However, to the dismay of all, these drugs have failed to reduce cardiac riskdespite the fact that they make HDL levels go up. Development of at least two of these drugs has now been halted. So the HDL story is more complex than scientists originally had hoped.
Mcts And The Immune System: Fats That Fight Off The Bad Stuff
MCTs have been found to act as a natural antiviral and antibiotic in many cases. In newborn children, for example, MCTs derived from mothers milk have antimicrobial effects in the gut tract and prevent pathogen transmission. This helps the child develop a functional immune system that is not vulnerable to pathogens and autoimmunity.
MCTs have also been shown to reduce the growth of certain species of Malassezia and internal fungi that grow in the digestive tract. Some harmful bacteria and viruses can be killed by MCTs as well.
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Range Good Cholesterol Should Be In
Doebrich says, “Men should have a level of at least 45mg/dL and the recommendation for women is 60mg/dL or more. For both men and women the “desirable” level is 60 mg/dL.”
Dr. Greenfield adds, “For HDL, well you want it to be normal and it seems the “sweet spot” for HDL is between 60-80 . It is at times possible to raise the HDL just by lowering triglycerides, eating the good fats found in fish , exercising and losing weight if one is too heavy. Yes, alcohol can raise HDL as well but we don’t advocate alcohol as a therapy!!”6254a4d1642c605c54bf1cab17d50f1e
What Is A Good Cholesterol Level
A good cholesterol level is different for people of different ages and sexes. For example, for anyone younger than 20 years old, total cholesterol should be less than 170 mg/dL, non-HDL cholesterol should be less than 120 mg/dL, LDL cholesterol should be less than 100 mg/dL, and HDL cholesterol should be more than 45 mg/dL.
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# 1 Eat Olives And Use Olive Oil
Millions of Mediterraneans cant be wrong. The Med Diet works.
One study gave 200 healthy young men about 2 tablespoons of different olive oils per day for three weeks. High quality EVOO increased HDL levels significantly.
In another study, 4 tablespoons of high-polyphenol extra virgin olive oil every day for six weeks increased HDL increased by 6.5 mg/dl, on average .
Benefits Of Increasing Your Hdl Cholesterol
As mentioned, increasing your HDL cholesterol is good for your heart health. But what exactly does that mean? And are there other benefits? Research is ongoing, but studies suggest that target levels of HDL could:
Lower your risk of heart attack: A fatty buildup in the arteries can lead to heart attacks. Experts believe HDL helps to clear cholesterol from the blood vessels, helping to prevent atherosclerosis. That said, theres probably more to the story, because improving HDL doesnt always reduce heart disease.
Lower your risk of stroke: There are a few different causes of strokes, but one of them is atherosclerosis in the arteries that supply the brain.
Improve your life expectancy: People who live longer have higher levels of HDL. Scientists believe the same genes that help you live longer are also responsible for higher levels of HDL. This may explain the genetic connection between a higher HDL and longer life expectancy.
Lower your risk of dementia:Studies have linked lower HDL levels to memory loss and dementia. But experts dont yet understand exactly how this relationship works.
Its important to note that recent research suggests it may be possible for your HDL to be too high. Research is ongoing to figure out the optimal range for HDL levels.
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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.
Mct Oil And Brain Health
While I, and many others, experience a noticeable cognitive boost from supplementing with MCTs, what about the medical literature? Are there studies which back up this effect?
I couldnt find many .
There is this study which looked at the ability of MCT oil to increase ketones levels in the brain of Alzheimers patients as a way to make up for impaired glucose metabolism.
The study found that MCT use doubled consumption of ketones in the brains of Alzheimers patients. For more on Alzheimers and diet, see this blog post.
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Talk To Your Doctor About Supplements And Cholesterol
If all other methods of increasing your HDL cholesterol haven’t been effective, you might think of taking dietary supplements. Still, Ahmed cautions that supplements aimed at raising HDL only do so modestly. Also, supplements have not yet been proven to reduce heart attacks or strokes.
Speak to your doctor before taking any supplements to raise HDL cholesterol, because some supplements come with health risks or may interact with medication.
Supplement Suggestions Have Changed
In the past, niacin and red yeast rice have been recommended to lower total cholesterol, but neither is now.
Niacin is not recommended as a supplement to lower total cholesterol because the doses would have to be quite high to make a difference, and that high level could increase your risk of developing diabetes, worsen gout or result in liver damage, Morey says.
Niacin is available as a prescription and in dietary supplement form. However, the supplement version shouldn’t be used in place of prescription niacin because of possible serious side effects and because the niacin amount in supplements may vary widely, according to AHA.
Red yeast rice contains a compound called monacolin K, which may reduce cholesterol, according to the Mayo Clinic. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration required this compound to be removed from all products sold in the United States, Morey says. Even if you were to find red yeast rice with monacolin K, the quality and quantity is not guaranteed in the same way a prescribed medication is, Morey says.
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A Doctor Explains Why Saturated Fat In Coconut Oil Isnt A Problem
Its no secret that Im a big fan of eating fat as a way to reach optimal well-being, and coconut oil is one of my favorites. And yet, if youve ever read a nutrition label on the back of a jar of organic, raw, cold-pressed coconut oil, youd see that its high in saturated fat. Isnt that a no-no doesnt saturated fat cause cholesterol to increase?
Glad you asked. Now we know that eating fat doesnt necessarily mean being fat: Its far more nuanced. As a doctor, Im fascinated by longevity and how dietary fat affects our bodies. One thing that makes coconut oil unique is that it contains medium-chain triglyceride oil or MCT oil, and MCTs are like super fuel for your cells. Your cells burn these MCTs for energy while storing very little of them as fat, boosting metabolism and supporting your immune system in the bargain.
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Factors Affecting Cholesterol Levels
- Diet- The food you eat increases the level of saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol. In such a situation, try to reduce the amount of saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol in your diet.
- Weight- Being overweight can increase triglycerides. In this case, losing weight can help lower your triglyceride level and increase HDL.
- excercise- If your cholesterol level is high, exercising regularly can help you lower it. Basically exercise works to lower triglycerides and increase HDL, so try to be physically active for a total of 30 minutes on most days of the week.
- age gender- Cholesterol level increases with age. Before menopause, women have lower total cholesterol levels than men of the same age. Whereas after menopause, womens LDL increases and HDL decreases.
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Mct May Stimulate The Release Of Hunger Hormones
While MCTs may increase the release of hormones that help you feel fuller longer, they may also stimulate the release of hunger hormones in some people .
A study involving people with anorexia found that MCTs increased the release of two hormones that stimulate appetite: ghrelin and neuropeptide Y .
People who took more than 6 grams of MCTs per day produced more of these hormones than those who had less than 1 gram per day.
However, its unclear whether the increase in these hormones actually causes you to eat more.
Should People With High Cholesterol Eat Fish And Seafood
For most people, it is beneficial to consume oily fish. The United States Department of Agricultures Dietary Guidelines for Americans 20202025 recommends that most adults eat at least 8 ounces of low-mercury fish and seafood each week.
On average, this gives someone 250 milligrams of DHA and EPA per day, though the exact amount will depend on the type of fish.
However, because some fish and seafood contains dietary cholesterol, people who struggle to control their cholesterol levels may need to be more cautious.
The United Kingdom charity, Heart UK, recommends that people with this concern speak with a dietitian about what is best for them.
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Hdl: Nine Ways To Raise Your Good Cholesterol
They call HDL good cholesterol. But its better than that. HDL keeps arteries young. The more HDL you have, the better. But how do you get your HDL level up?
HDL is especially important when you have diabetes. A new Italian study followed more than 47,000 people with Type 2 for four years. Those with low levels of HDL had a 44% increased chance of developing signs of diabetic kidney disease. Low HDL levels were more dangerous than high levels of triglycerides, which were thought to be a greater risk.
HDL stands for high-density lipoprotein. Our bodies have two main types of cholesterol carriers. Low-density lipoprotein takes cholesterol from the liver to the rest of the body. LDL leaves a lot of extra cholesterol lying around, where it can form hard stuff called plaque in arteries.
HDL goes the other way. It brings extra cholesterol from other parts of the body back to the liver. It keeps plaque from forming and helps keep arteries open. It undoes damage that life, food, and time do to arteries.
Your HDL level means a lot for your risk of stroke, heart disease, kidney disease, and other kinds of blood vessel damage. Since diabetes complications result from blood vessel damage, you really want your HDL level up.
A level over 60 mg/dl is considered excellent. From 40 to 60 is OK. Below 40 is considered low.
2. Stop smoking. Many studies show HDL goes up in people who stop smoking, even though their weight tends to increase.
What Are Normal Cholesterol Levels
For most healthy adults, total cholesterol should be less than 200 mg/dL, your LDL less than 100 mg/dL, and your HDL greater than 40 mg/dL. For children, total cholesterol should be less than 170 mg/dL, LDL less than 110 mg/dL, and HDL greater than 45 mg/dL.
- While coffee consumption is part of an overall diet, Routhenstein said focusing on foods will also help protect your heart and lower your cholesterol levels. This can include limiting sodium and saturated fat intake as well as getting more soluble fiber. Exercising and prioritizing quality sleep are also key to maintaining heart health.
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Two Types Of Cholesterol
After your provider checks your cholesterol, you will see a few numbers on your lab report. One of them is your total cholesterol. This looks at all the different types of cholesterol levels in your body. Here well look at two main types: HDL and LDL.
People often call high-density lipoprotein the good cholesterol. This is because its job is to bring bad cholesterol to the liver so your body can remove it. High levels of HDL help decrease your heart disease risk. Here are the recommended levels of HDL to get heart health benefits:
For males: over 40 mg/dL
For females: over 50 mg/dL
The other type of cholesterol low-density lipoprotein is your bad cholesterol. Thats because it can damage blood vessels, causing coronary artery disease, stroke, and peripheral artery disease. Lowering your LDL can decrease your risk of heart disease.
So how low does your LDL need to be to get heart health benefits? For people at low risk of heart disease, the LDL goal is less than 100 mg/dl. For those at high risk, or those with diabetes and/or heart disease, the goal is less than 70 mg/dl.
It can be difficult to remember the target levels of HDL versus LDL. Heres a simple way to remember the goals for each: Aim high for HDL. Aimlow for LDL.
Study Design And Diets
The intervention consisted of a 2-week baseline period, 3 weeks of low tomato diet and 3 weeks of high tomato diet. The study subjects followed their habitual diets and eating patterns during the intervention. Before the intervention, the nutritionist interviewed all the participants and instructed them individually how to follow low and high tomato diets without changing their normal everyday habitual diets. In addition, the subjects received written instructions including a detailed list of all other known lycopene-containing foods. During the low tomato diet, the subjects were not to consume tomatoes, tomato products such as tomato ketchup, tomato sauces, tomato juice, etc., and other vegetables and fruit containing lycopene . During the high tomato diet, the study subjects consumed 400 ml tomato juice containing 5·9 mg lycopene/100 ml and 30 g tomato ketchup containing 12·4 mg lycopene/100 g daily, resulting in an average intake of 27 mg dietary lycopene/d. The nutrient content of the tomato juice is presented in the Table 1. The participants were instructed to consume the tomato juice and ketchup with main meals during the day. The habitual consumption of tomatoes and other lycopene-rich foods was also allowed during the high tomato diet.
Table 1 The nutrient content of the tomato juice per 100 ml
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How To Increase Your Hdl Cholesterol Levels
High levels of HDL cholesterol, often called “good” cholesterol, are associated with a reduced risk of coronary artery disease . It appears that HDL particles “scour” the walls of blood vessels, cleaning out excess cholesterol that otherwise might have been used to make the plaques that cause CAD. The HDL cholesterol is then carried to the liver, where it is processed into bile, and secreted into the intestines and out of the body.
So, the current theory goes, when we measure a person’s HDL cholesterol level, we are measuring how vigorously his or her blood vessels are being “scrubbed” free of excess cholesterol.
Eat More Fish To Boost Hdl Cholesterol
Including fish in your diet can increase HDL cholesterol in a short period of time. In a study published in February 2014 in the journal PLoS One, researchers concluded that a diet rich in foods including fish showed an increase in the size of HDL particles in the body, which could help improve cholesterol transport through the body. The researchers saw the positive effects of a diet that included fish in as little as 12 weeks.
Omega-3 fatty acids, which are the type of fatty acids found in fish, can help increase your HDL cholesterol, Ahmed says. Two servings of fatty fish per week, including salmon, mackerel, or albacore tuna, can help you hit your omega-3 goals. Youll also get omega-3s from flaxseeds, mixed greens, and walnuts in your diet.
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