Normal Cholesterol Levels By Age
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that plays many roles in the body, including synthesizing hormones and vitamin D. It also assists in the transporting of lipids. Cholesterol is found in the foods you eat, but it is also made by the liver.
We need some cholesterol to build healthy cells, but an accumulation of the bad kind can be problematic, increasing the risk of atherosclerosis. The recommended ranges for your cholesterol will depend on your age. Find out what cholesterol levels are, why age is a factor, and how to keep your levels within a healthy range.
Shed The Excess Pounds
The increasing rate of obesity in the United States is the No. 1 cause of cholesterol-related issues, says Dr. Knight-Mathis. Nearly 40 percent of Americans are considered obese; nearly 10 percent are severely obese, at 100 pounds over their optimal weight.
The Covid-19 pandemic made the situation even worse.
“Over 50 percent of U.S. adults reported weight gain during Covid,” says Dr. Knight-Mathis, whose practice focuses on adolescents. “The most frequently cited number is 15 pounds, but it is likely even higher.”
Extra weight leads to more cholesterol production in the liver, including LDL. When cholesterol production shifts into high gear, there’s a whole lot of “bad” LDL for HDL to vacuum up, and it gets overwhelmed.
“Extra weight also increases the risk for diabetes, which is associated with worsening cholesterol,” Dr. Knight-Mathis says.
How To Raise Hdl Cholesterol Levels
This article was medically reviewed by Erik Kramer, DO, MPH. Dr. Erik Kramer is a Primary Care Physician at the University of Colorado, specializing in internal medicine, diabetes, and weight management. He received his Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine from the Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2012. Dr. Kramer is a Diplomate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine and is board certified.There are 14 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, several readers have written to tell us that this article was helpful to them, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 136,366 times.
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Medications To Reduce Ldl
Many medications can help decrease high cholesterol or LDL levels, such as:
Statins are the most common medication doctors use to treat high cholesterol. This drug may raise the risk of diabetes and cause changes in liver enzymes, although permanent liver damage is rare.
Doctors can prescribe lomitapide to treat familial hypercholesterolemia, a genetic condition that can cause high cholesterol. This drug may cause liver damage, so people taking it may require frequent liver testing.
Bile acid sequestrant medication
Doctors may prescribe bile acid sequestrants to reduce cholesterol levels when statins are not a suitable treatment or are not effective enough.
Bile acid sequestrants can raise triglyceride levels, reduce the efficacy of some medications, and cause diarrhea.
. Some recommend taking this alongside a statin if a person is at high risk of health complications or if they have a genetic condition that causes high cholesterol.
PCSK9 inhibitors can cause pain, swelling, and cold sensation at the injection site.
Doctors may prescribe ezetimibe when a person has a genetic condition causing high cholesterol. Similarly, doctors can prescribe it when statins cause too many side effects or are not effective enough on their own.
It may be necessary to refrain from eating or drinking anything except plain water 912 hours before the test.
What About A Low
Substantial evidence now shows that a low-fat diet often reduces rather than increases HDL levels. This result is not specifically caused by not enough fat, but rather, is caused by consuming too many carbohydrates. The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology have quietly stopped recommending low-fat diets for heart disease prevention. Indeed, it is low-carb diets and not low-fat diets which are associated with higher HDL levels.
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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
Almonds & Almond Flour
Cake with only 10 grams of carbs have we died and gone to heaven?? When you substitute regular wheat flour for almond flour, true magic happens in the kitchen. Not only do you benefit from a serving of plant-based protein and get a delectably fluffy texture in your baked goods,;but you’ll also experience the heart-healing power of nuts. Almonds have been found to increase low HDL cholesterol levels in coronary artery disease patients, according to a Journal of Nutrition study, as well as in healthy subjects. For a simple almond flour mug cake recipe click here, don’t miss Wholesome Yum’s recipe.
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Hdl Cholesterol Vs Ldl Cholesterol
As we know, HDL cholesterol is the good cholesterol while LDL is the bad type. Heres how the two stack up:
- levels increase with a;healthy diet
- smoking lowers HDL levels
- is;the main source of cholesterol buildup and blockage in the arteries
- higher levels mean an increases risk for serious heart problems and stroke
- being overweight is associated with a higher LDL level and a lower HDL level.
If You Drink Consider A Glass Of Wine
While the jury is still out on this recommendation, several studies over the past few decades have suggested that moderate alcohol consumption may help cholesterol management.
Specifically, animal studies have found that a compound called resveratrol, found in grapes and red wine, has a positive impact on coronary arteries.
“Moderate use of alcohol has been linked with higher HDL levels,” Romano explains. ” would be up to one drink a day for women and men.”
While the results are promising in animal studies, human trials are still gathering information. Until then, researchers can’t say for certain whether a nightly glass of pinot noir will raise your HDL cholesterol.
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Why Age Is A Factor
The recommended ranges for your cholesterol will vary based on age and gender. As people get older, cholesterol levels rise naturally. For example, people who have gone through menopause may have higher LDL and lower HDL cholesterol levels.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children’s cholesterol levels be checked between ages 9 and 11.
However, children with certain risk factors, such as those whose parents or grandparents have had heart attacks or been diagnosed with blocked arteries at age 55 or earlier in males or 65 or earlier in females, should be tested for cholesterol between ages 2 and 10.
Drop Excess Pounds To Extend Hdl Cholesterol
If youre overweight or obese, shedding those excess pounds can help to raise HDL cholesterol. Leah Groppo, RD, CDE, clinical dietitian at Stanford Health Care in Stanford, California, says that losing around 7 percent of your total weight is enough to cause a metabolic shift. But as Groppo notes, Maintaining weight loss is vital.
Abdominal obesity fat that accumulates around your waist instead of within the hips and thighs seems to be related to heart condition risk and lower levels of the great cholesterol. Weight loss is particularly helpful for people that have an apple-shaped body.
Effective weight-loss methods include diet, exercise, and surgery. A study published in January 2014 within the journal Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases found that 318 participants who received laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding showed a big increase in their HDL cholesterol long-term, 12 years later.
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Top 23 Tips On How To Increase Good Cholesterol Levels Naturally
1. Lose Weight If You Are Overweight
This is the first home remedy in this list of tips on how to increase good cholesterol levels naturally. Excess weight will adversely affect HDL levels. In fact, if you are overweight, losing a few kilograms of weight will also help to improve your cholesterol level . This means if you lose 3 kilograms of weight or more, you can increase your HDL levels and get rid of low density lipoprotein cholesterol. Combining exercise with healthy eating will help you lose weight. You can lose weight without doing both these principles .
However, to lose weight effectively, you should best perform both of them. You should focus on reducing calorie intake per day and exercise regularly. Just 30 minutes of walking a day also helps to lose weight steadily and safely. In addition, you can learn more about safe and effective weight loss ways to quickly achieve your goals. In the process of losing weight, you need to pay attention to the following:
2. How To Increase Good Cholesterol Exercise Regularly
This is another must-try treatment in this list of tips on how to increase good cholesterol levels naturally. Raise your heart rate at least 5 times a week, at least 30 minutes each time with activities such as basketball, gardening, walking, running, biking or swimming .
3. Eat Healthy Fats
4. Quit Smoking
5. How To Increase Good Cholesterol Drink Alcohol In Moderation
On the other hand, taking a moderate amount of alcohol can increase HDL levels .
Fruits Along With Berries
The benefits of fruits for a healthy heart cannot be counted on fingers. Yes, it does a lot more than you would believe it can.;
Rich in soluble fibers, fruits curb the urge to eat more.;
One such fiber, pectin is linked with low LDL cholesterol levels and is profusely found in citrus fruits. For instance, grapes, strawberries, apples, and pears.;
Moreover, theyre full of flavonoids, a compound is known to bring down the rate of inflammation.;
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Eat More Fish To Spice Up Hdl Cholesterol
Including fish in your diet can increase HDL cholesterol during a short period of your time. During a study published in February 2014 within the journal PLoS One, researchers concluded that a diet rich in foods including fish showed a rise within the size of HDL particles within 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 sort 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 assist you hit your omega-3 goals. Youll also get omega-3s from flaxseeds, mixed greens, and walnuts in your diet.
Fill Your Diet With Plant
Your liver makes all the cholesterol your body needs to function. So any cholesterol you get from your diet is extra, which is why dietary cholesterol can lead to high LDL levels. And that leads to a decline in HDL.
Animal-derived foodsâmeat, poultry and dairy productsâall contain dietary cholesterol and should be consumed sparingly, says Romano.
It’s fine to have hamburger and fries on occasion, but she recommends more fruits and vegetables , whole grains , tofu, beans, seeds, and nuts, all of which will help increase your HDL levels.
The goal, says Romano, is a lifestyle focused on managing cholesterol, which will likely mitigate other health issues as well.
“Adapting a diet that incorporates a variety of enjoyable and accessible foods is very much in line with general recommendations for decreased risk of many chronic diseases,” she says.
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Can Good Cholesterol Levels Be Too High Or Bad Be Too Low
In most cases, high HDL is not harmful. HDL is healthy, essential cholesterol. It helps keep your LDL levels in check. Some older research published in the medical journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology suggested that high HDL might increase the risk of heart disease in people who have high levels of C-reactive proteins, a sign of inflammation. More research is needed to confirm this finding. If you have abnormally high HDL and C-reactive protein levels, ask your doctor about your risk of heart disease.
As for too-low LDL levels, research is still ongoing. Early studies suggested very low levels of LDL cholesterol may be problematic. But other studies have found levels below 50 mg/dl safe, such as one published in 2018 in Current Pharmaceutical Design.
How To Increase Hdl Cholesterol
Considering the work HDL does in your body, mopping up excess LDL cholesterol so that it can’t clog your arteries, it’s important to maintain adequate levels.
When HDL is too lowâbelow 45 mg/dl in women and 40 mg/dl in menâyour risk of atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke increases.
But there are steps you can take to elevate your levels of HDL cholesterol. Our medical experts outline seven steps to a healthy heart.
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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.
Talk To Your Doctor About Supplements And Cholesterol
If all other methods of accelerating your HDL cholesterol havent been effective, you would possibly consider taking dietary supplements. Still, Ahmed cautions that supplements aimed toward raising HDL only do so modestly. Also, supplements havent yet been proven to scale back heart attacks or strokes.
Speak to your doctor before taking any supplements to boost HDL cholesterol, because some supplements come with health risks or may interact with medication.
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Other Lipid Panel Components
Your test results might also include additional measurements:
- Non-HDL cholesterol: The number reflects your total cholesterol minus HDL.
- Very-low-density lipoprotein : It’s similar to LDL cholesterol, but while low-density lipoproteins mostly carry cholesterol to your tissues, very-low-density lipoproteins transport triglycerides.
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Put together, all these test measures give your doctor a detailed glimpse of your blood’s lipid content and thus your risk of restricted blood flow and heart disease.
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Remember that HDL is produced by the body. Like all lipoproteins carry cholesterol, HDL is produced by the body and it is not present in the food. The amount of HDL produced is determined by the gene and is related to the need for cell regeneration, but the levels of all lipoproteins depend on diet and exercise. On the other hand, cholesterol is present in foods and is also produced by the liver and the intestinal wall. The liver removes cholesterol from the body by secreting cholesterol out of the bile . This process of cholesterol regulation affects the levels of lipoprotein, including HDL levels.
HDL works in tandem with LDL. LDL is called bad cholesterol, but in fact it is just a cholesterol transporter from the liver to the cell, including the damaged arteries. The problem arises when cholesterol builds up in the artery wall, it attracts macrophages and stimulates plaque formation a typical sign of atherosclerosis or blocked artery.HDL works in tandem with LDL and tries to balance the amount of cholesterol needed to regenerate cracks in the artery instead of limiting accumulation. In physiological terms, nothing is called good or bad cholesterol, although some types of lipoproteins are considered healthier than others.
What Are Common Causes Of High Cholesterol?
What Are Common Symptoms Of High Cholesterol?
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Cut Back On Sugar For Higher Hdl Cholesterol Levels
According to a study published in November 2015 within the journal Nature, a diet high in carbohydrates like added sugar, light bread, cookies, and cakes reduces HDL cholesterol levels, increasing the danger for metabolic disorders. Refined carbohydrates found in foods labeled low-fat make these even as bad as full-fat foods because the fat is usually replaced with carbohydrates from added sugar and other starches.
A study of two, 500 people with diabetes, published in October 2016 within the journal Nutrition Metabolism disorder, found that following nutritional recommendations to limit added sugar within the diet was linked to significantly higher HDL cholesterol levels.
When trying to scale back added sugar in your diet, Ahmed says its best to slowly replace sugars with fruits and vegetables. He adds, Also attempt to avoid trans fats, including fried foods or those prepared with shortening, since these can also reduce HDL.