Facts About Good Cholesterol
- HDL cholesterol normally makes up 20%-30% of your total blood cholesterol.
- Theres is evidence that HDL helps protect against the accumulation of plaques in the arteries.
- Research suggests that a five-point drop in HDL cholesterol is linked to a 25% increase in heart disease risk.
- In prospective studies that is, studies that follow participants for a certain period to watch for outcomes HDL usually proves to be the lipid risk factor most linked to heart disease risk.
- HDL cholesterol levels are thought to have a genetic factor in some people.
- Women typically have higher HDL cholesterol levels than men. About a third of men and about a fifth of women have HDL levels below 40 mg/dL. Doctors consider levels of less than 40 mg/dL to be low.
Researchers from the Netherlands who analyzed 60 studies concluded that the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL is a better marker for coronary artery disease than LDL measurement alone.
Boosting HDL is the next frontier in heart disease prevention, says P.K. Shah, MD, director of cardiology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Shah says that if the new drugs designed to increase HDL levels prove effective, they could potentially reduce the number of heart attacks and strokes by 80% to 90% and save millions of lives. HDL-boosting drugs are now being tested.
Medicines That Lower Cholesterol
When they feel its necessary, doctors have multiple options for treatment they can prescribe for high cholesterol. Medicines to lower cholesterol fall into several categories, including statins, which lower the livers production of cholesterol while increasing its ability to remove LDL from the blood.
These treatments can also be part of your ongoing discussion with your doctor about lowering cholesterol. Your physician will consider a number of factors in deciding if you could benefit from these medicines, including overall LDL levels, prior history of arterial heart disease, age, and additional health conditions that could increase a risk of heart disease, like diabetes.
Add These Foods To Lower Ldl Cholesterol
Different foods lower cholesterol in various ways. Some deliver soluble fiber, which binds cholesterol and its precursors in the digestive system and drags them out of the body before they get into circulation. Some give you polyunsaturated fats, which directly lower LDL. And some contain plant sterols and stanols, which block the body from absorbing cholesterol.
1. Oats. An easy first step to lowering your cholesterol is having a bowl of oatmeal or cold oat-based cereal like Cheerios for breakfast. It gives you 1 to 2 grams of soluble fiber. Add a banana or some strawberries for another half-gram. Current nutrition guidelines recommend getting 20 to 35 grams of fiber a day, with at least 5 to 10 grams coming from soluble fiber.
2. Barley and other whole grains. Like oats and oat bran, barley and other whole grains can help lower the risk of heart disease, mainly via the soluble fiber they deliver.
3. Beans. Beans are especially rich in soluble fiber. They also take a while for the body to digest, meaning you feel full for longer after a meal. Thats one reason beans are a useful food for folks trying to lose weight. With so many choices from navy and kidney beans to lentils, garbanzos, black-eyed peas, and beyond and so many ways to prepare them, beans are a very versatile food.
4. Eggplant and okra. These two low-calorie vegetables are good sources of soluble fiber.
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Increase Good Cholesterol In Your Body Naturally With These 3 Foods
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Just the mention of cholesterol, is enough to ring the alarm bells. Often, we associate cholesterol with something bad, however, there is also a good kind of cholesterol that the body requires to maintain overall health.
Good cholesterol plays a vital role in many key bodily functions, especially when it comes to the health of the heart. Luckily for us, good cholesterol can be found naturally in various food sources and can help boost your health and wellbeing.
Role of good cholesterol
High-density lipoprotein is the good cholesterol, whereas low-density lipoprotein is the bad cholesterol.
HDL helps to remove extra cholesterol and plaque buildup in the arteries. It facilitates the transfer of this buildup to the liver, which in turn, removes it from the body. This critical function reduces the risk of heart diseases and associated ailments.
HDL levels should ideally be around 60 milligrams/deciliter or above, and should not dip below 40 mg/dL.
Besides medical factors such as obesity, diabetes, and smoking, diet also plays a major role in determining HDL levels.
These foods will help you increase the good cholesterol levels
Start incorporating these HDL friendly foods in your diet to improve your health:
1. Legumes and whole grains
2. Nuts and seeds
So, try these foods, to improve the HDL levels, and lead a healthier life!
How Is It Different From Bad Cholesterol
The terms good and bad are useful to help explain the functions of cholesterol. Both types of cholesterol serve a purpose in the body when balanced.
Cholesterol helps the body make new cell membranes. It is also important for making vitamin D and some hormones, such as sex hormones and the stress hormone cortisol. The liver also uses cholesterol to make bile, which digests fats.
LDL cholesterol is bad because it collects as plaque inside the arteries, so additional LDL cholesterol is unnecessary. High LDL levels put a person for atherosclerosis, a major risk factor for heart disease.
In contrast, higher levels of good cholesterol may lower a persons risk of developing heart disease.
- vegetable oils such as olive oil and sunflower oil
- oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, and herring
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Effects Of Exercise On Reverse Cholesterol Transport
While nutrition may be the most important lifestyle factor in stimulating reverse cholesterol transport, studies have shown that the intervention treatment is best when it is paired with exercise. One of the reasons for this is the positive effect exercise has on our HDL cholesterol levels. Epidemiological and clinical intervention data have consistently shown that low levels of HDL cholesterol are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The first step in the management of low HDL cholesterol levels is to increase physical activity .
A study done in Czech Republic on obese women indicated that physical activity is required to trigger reverse cholesterol transport . Efflux of cholesterol from prelabeled macrophages to plasma acceptors of tested individuals was used as a reverse cholesterol transport measure. Changes in reverse cholesterol transport were analyzed in 15 obese women after 9-week intervention, which consisted of 5 sessions of increased physical activity per week. Each session lasted 60 minutes long and 3 of the 5 were under controlled conditions in a fitness center. The other two sessions were usually bicycling or brisk walking. At the beginning of the 9-week intervention and at the end blood specimens were obtained.
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.
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Cook With Healthy Oils To Raise Hdl Cholesterol
Not all oils are created equal when it comes to your heart health. Olive oil and soybean oil are mainly unsaturated fat, which can lower LDL cholesterol and at the same time increase HDL cholesterol. In a study published in July 2015 in The Journal of Nutrition, researchers found that including olive oil in the diet decreased LDL concentrations in healthy young men.
In a Harvard Health Letter, Walter C. Willett, MD, chair of the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, suggests using coconut oil sparingly because of the lack of research on how the oil may contribute to heart disease.
Groppo agrees. Coconut oil is best used on the skin, she says.
How To Raise Good Cholesterol
The key to raising HDL cholesterol is lowering LDL cholesterol. The American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association recommend the following for increasing your HDL cholesterol level:
- Following a plant-based or Mediterranean eating plan that includes fruits, nuts, vegetables, legumes, and lean meats
- Avoiding saturated and trans fats, and limiting processed meats
- Avoiding sugar and artificial sweeteners in processed foods and in beverages
- Increasing aerobic activity and getting at least 30 minutes of exercise five times per week
- Losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight
- Quitting smoking
- Keeping blood pressure below 130/80 mm Hg
- Taking medications to help raise HDL cholesterol, including niacin and fibrates, which also lower triglycerides
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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
Lowering Your High Cholesterol: 6 Exercises That Will Pay Off
When you were first diagnosed with high cholesterol, your doctor may have talked to you about exercise. Besides improving your diet, exercising is one of the most effective lifestyle changes you can make to help bring your numbers down naturally.
Your first thought may have been, I hate running. Or maybe you like running, but youve been sidelined lately because of an injury. Or maybe you dont mind jogging, but you hate the treadmill.
Running isnt the only way to turn your health around. Theres no doubt that its an effective aerobic exercise, but several other good choices are available that can help counteract the negative affects high cholesterol has on your health.
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Hdl Cholesterol Bad News About This Good Cholesterol
Lower your LDL bad cholesterol. Raise your HDL good cholesterol. For years, thats what doctors nationwide have advised their patients.
And certainly, its vital for heart health to lower LDL levels. The research is indisputable.
But a growing body of data is causing scientists to question the goodness of raising HDL.
Focus on lowering your LDL bad cholesterol, and dont worry about the HDL, advises Dr. Barnard.
One recent study, published online in The Lancet and led by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, M.I.T., and Harvard, utilized powerful new databases of genetic information. They found that people who inherited DNA that gave them naturally higher HDL levels throughout their lives had no less cardiovascular disease than people with genes that gave them slightly lower levels of HDL. *
I have long questioned the assertion that HDL is unequivocally a good cholesterol, commented R. James Barnard, PhD, of UCLA Department of Integrative Biology and Physiology, and author of more than 190 studies on lifestyle and disease.
For starters, epidemiological data do not match up. Studying populations throughout the world where heart disease is rare, scientists have found that LDL levels are indeed very low, but so are HDL levels often 20 to 30 mg/dL.
Post-Pritikin, the mens HDL had converted to anti-inflammatory despite the fact that total HDL had gone down a little.
Ways To Help Boost Your Good Cholesterol
Last Editorial Review: 3/25/2010
At the risk of sounding like a certain 20-something socialite, HDL is hot! Advances in research have brought more attention to the blood lipid we often call “good”cholesterol.
“Good” cholesterol doesn’t refer to the cholesterol we eat in food, but to the high density lipoprotein cholesterol circulating in our blood. It’s one of the blood fats measured in the lipid panel blood test doctors perform. And it’s the component you want more of, because increasing HDL helps lower your risk of heart disease.
Experts of the National Cholesterol Education Program notes that although LDL or “bad” cholesterol has gotten most of the attention, there’s growing evidence that HDL plays an important role.
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Desirable Cholesterol Numbers For Better Health
Your cholesterol numbers from a simple blood test provide a measure of your cardiovascular health and can be an early warning sign of heart disease. The AHA recommends your total cholesterol levels be measured at least once every five years once you reach age 20.
Total cholesterol is the sum of a few numbers: HDL cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol , triglycerides, and other lipid components of your blood. Each is reported in milligrams per deciliter of blood .
Your doctor can determine the best cholesterol level for you based on your health, medical history, and family history of heart disease. Desirable cholesterol levels, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , are:
- Total cholesterol less than 200 mg/dL
- LDL cholesterol less than 100 mg/dL
- HDL above 40 mg/dL in men and above 50 mg/dL in women
Hdl Vs Ldl Cholesterol
HDL cholesterol contains a higher proportion of protein and is made up of substances that dont lead to plaque buildup in your arteries. High-density cholesterol also carries LDL cholesterol away from the arteries back to the liver, where its broken down and eliminated from the body.
On the other hand, LDL cholesterol has a higher cholesterol and lower protein composition. When theres an excess of LDL cholesterol from consuming a diet high in calories and fat, excess LDL cholesterol seeps through artery walls and oxidizes .
When oxidation occurs, macrophages consume the oxidized LDL cholesterol in the artery wall and die, leading to inflammation in the artery walls. The body is then triggered to block the increasing macrophage by creating tissue in the artery walls called plaque, resulting in atherosclerosis.
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Eat More Of Certain Foods And Less With Saturated Fats
Changes to your diet can make a big difference in lowering cholesterol, and they dont need to be complicated. According to the National Institute of Health, there are some simple guidelines to follow to get your cholesterol score down:
- Reduce your consumption of saturated fats This is arguably the most common sense action out there, as most people understand that red meat and non-lowfat milk and dairy products are high in saturated fats, which increase your cholesterol level. Eat them only in moderation or eliminate them where possible.
- Eat more high-fiber foods Increasing your intake of soluble fiber helps reduce the amount of cholesterol absorbed into your bloodstream. Great sources of soluble fiber include oats, barley and other whole grains, as well as fiber supplements.
- Eat more foods with omega-3 fatty acids Though these may sound bad for you, theyre just the opposite: Omega-3 fatty acids raise your HDL, or good cholesterol, and have other positive effects on heart health. Youll find them in things like fish and certain types of nuts and seeds.
What Can You Do To Keep Hdl High
Although medications can increase HDL cholesterol, research has shown that they do not necessarily alter your risk of heart disease, says Dr. Wassif. So we focus on LDL cholesterol reduction and recommend lifestyle changes. The American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association recommend:
Regular exercise, such as walking. Get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week, or 75 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity activity.
Maintain a healthy weight, or lose excess pounds if needed. Besides improving your diet and exercise habits, a comprehensive plan may include lifestyle counseling for stress, sleep hygiene and other individual challenges you face.
Dont smoke. If you smoke, individual or social support groups are recommended while trying to quit to increase your chances of success.
Manage your blood sugar. If you have type 2 diabetes, a healthy diet and exercise are crucial, along with any medications your doctor may recommend.
Aim for a blood pressure of < 130/80 mm Hg. Get the proper amount of good-quality sleep, follow a low-sodium diet and meet the recommended exercise guidelines.
Start by taking these small steps to change your lifestyle. Theyll help you boost your HDL, making it easier for your bloodstreams cleaner to do its job.
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