Lifestyle Changes To Boost Hdl Cholesterol Levels
Here are the foods you can easily incorporate into your heart-healthy diet to either help lower your LDL cholesterol or boost your HDL cholesterol levels.
Oats: Changing you morning meal might be the simplest way to whittle down your LDL cholesterol . By taking two servings of oats, you can lower LDL by 5.3 percent in only six weeks. Oats contain beta-glucan, which plays a key role in LDL removal and excretion from the body.
Nuts: A study shows that people lowered their total cholesterol by 5.4 percent and LDL cholesterol by 9.3 percent by taking 1.5 ounces of walnuts six days a week for one month. Details of the study can be gleaned from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. And just to make it easy for you, 1.5 ounces is about a shot glass and a half.
Tea: Tea contains a lot of antioxidants to fight inflammation. In some cases, it even fights cancer. Not many people know, however, that tea is also a great defence against LDL cholesterol. According to research conducted with the USDA, black tea has been shown to reduce blood lipids by up to 10 percent in only three weeks.
Beans: Researchers at Arizona State University Polytechnic found that adding ½ cup of beans to soup lowers total cholesterol, including LDL, by up to eight percent. The fiber content in beans plays an important role in limiting the absorption of dietary cholesterol.
Making these lifestyle changes can help you boost your HDL cholesterol levels naturally.
Reverse Cholesterol Transport System
HDL removes cholesterol from the peripheral tissues, such as fibroblasts and macrophages, and it is esterified by LCAT. The cholesteryl ester thus produced is transferred from the HDL to apo B containing lipoproteins, such as VLDL, intermediate-density lipoprotein, and LDL, by a key protein termed cholesteryl ester transport protein in the liver. The HDL itself becomes enriched with TGs and subsequently becomes hydrolyzed by hepatic lipase. By this mechanism, the HDL finally becomes smaller again and is ready to scavenge more cholesterol. This pathway is called the reverse cholesterol transport system.
Therefore, HA represents a clinical condition in which the reverse cholesterol transport system functions suboptimally, causing an increased tendency to develop atherosclerotic lesions.
HDL < 5 mg/dL TGs normal
Planar xanthomas, corneal opacities
Familial apo A-I structural mutations
Abnormal apo A-I
HDL 15-30 mg/dL TGs increased
Often none sometimes corneal opacities
HDL < 10 mg/dL TGs increased
Corneal opacities, anemia, proteinuria, renal insufficiency
HDL < 10 mg/dL TGs increased
HDL < 5 mg/dL TGs usually increased
Corneal opacities, enlarged orange tonsils, hepatosplenomegaly, peripheral neuropathy
No to yes
HDL 15-35 mg/dL TGs normal
Often none sometimes corneal opacities
No to yes
Can Low Cholesterol Cause Depression
Several studies have linked low cholesterol to an increased risk of developing depression.
Do eggs increase HDL?
Summary Eggs consistently raise HDL cholesterol. For 70% of people, there is no increase in total or LDL cholesterol. Some people may experience a slight increase in a mild LDL subtype.
Is low cholesterol making you tired?
No, high cholesterol does not usually cause fatigue. But it can lead to heart diseases, like coronary microvascular disease, that do. In this heart disease, excess LDL cholesterol builds up as plaque in the small arteries of your heart, narrowing and stiffening them.
What are the signs of bad cholesterol?
The most common symptoms include:
- angina pectoris, chest pain.
- pain in the neck, jaw, upper abdomen, or back.
- numbness or coldness in your extremities.
Is coffee good for cholesterol?
Although coffee does not contain cholesterol, it can affect cholesterol levels. Coffee diterpenes suppress the bodys production of substances involved in the breakdown of cholesterol, which leads to an increase in cholesterol. Specifically, the diterpenes in coffee can cause an increase in total cholesterol and LDL levels.
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Symptoms And Risk Factors Of Low Cholesterol
So how does someone know they are suffering from low cholesterol? Hypocholesterolemia symptoms are different for each individual.
Symptoms of low cholesterol really center on conditions linked to those low levels. There is some suggestion that depression and anxiety could be related to low cholesterol. Symptoms of depression and anxiety include hopelessness, changes in mood or sleep, confusion, agitation, and difficulty making decisions.
If you experience any of the signs outlined here and think it might be because of low cholesterol, see a doctor as soon as possible. Also, remember that a family history of low cholesterol is a risk factor, and so is being on statins or other blood pressure treatments.
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What Are The Causes Of Low Cholesterol
What is low cholesterol? In simple terms, a low level means less than 40 milligrams per deciliter of HDL. Now that we have described low cholesterol, we can outline what causes low cholesterol. Sometimes, it can be an inherited condition, but the following list includes the main hypocholesterolemia causes:
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Deterrence And Patient Education
As discussed previously, a healthy diet is recommended in the treatment of low HDL. The Mediterranean diet in observational studies has shown a decrease in cardiovascular and overall mortality. In a meta-analysis of the PREDIMED trial, no reduction in cardiovascular or overall mortality was observed. It is important to counsel patients on the types of fat they consume as these affect their HDL levels. A meta-analysis of randomized controlled feeding studies compared fat sources by replacing just 1% of energy consumption, trans fatty acids in place of saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, or polyunsaturated fats, respectively, increased the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL by 0.31, 0.54 and 0.67 apolipoprotein -B/ApoAI ratio was increased by 0.007, 0.010 and 0.011 and increased lipoprotein by 3.76, 1.39 and 1.11 mg/L.
Further counseling on weight loss and exercise is warranted as well. Amongst the saturated fatty acids, the carbon chain length affects the change in serum cholesterol. For instance, those with carbon chain lengths of 14 and 16 increase LDL and HDL cholesterol while decreasing triglyceride-rich lipoproteins. These smaller saturated fats can be found mostly in dairy products and red meats. On the other hand, stearic acid has less of an effect on LDL and HDL cholesterol and can be found in beef and cocoa butter.
Smoking Poor Diet Lack Of Exercise And More
Low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels can increase your heart risk. Having a low level of this “good” cholesterol is a concern, just as having high levels of triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol can have negative effects on your heart health.
Lifestyle choices, such as diet and exercise, and genetic factors can contribute to low HDL levels.
This article explains the causes of low HDL, what the optimal levels are, and how HDL plays a role in your overall health. It also covers how you can raise your HDL levels.
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Components Of Plasma High
Plasma HDL is a small, dense, spherical lipid-protein complex, with the lipid and protein components each making up half. The major lipids are phospholipid, cholesterol, cholesteryl esters, and TGs. The major proteins include apo A-I and apo A-II . Other minor, albeit important, proteins are apo E and apo C, including apo C-I, apo C-II, and apo C-III. HDL particles are heterogeneous. They can be classified into larger, less dense HDL2 and smaller, denser HDL3. Normally, most HDL is present as HDL3. However, individual variability in HDL levels in humans is usually due to different amounts of HDL2.
How Do You Know If Your Cholesterol Is A Concern
High cholesterol often doesnt announce itself early with a tell-tale sign. You might learn you have troubling numbers only after having a heart attack or a stroke.
Healthy adults should have their cholesterol checked through a blood test every four to six years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Testing should be more frequent if you or your family has a history of heart disease or diabetes.
Its not just adults who should be tested, either. The CDC also recommends that children have their cholesterol checked at least once between ages 9 and 11. The agency also recommends a test between ages 17 and 21.
Tests results can open discussions with your doctor about unique risk enhancers such as:
- Family history, which could lead to a second test to find your Lipoprotein, or Lp, level.
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How Do I Know When I Need To Increase My Hdl Cholesterol
There are no symptoms of low HDL until you develop heart disease or metabolic conditions like obesity. The only way to know you need to increase your HDL is to have a blood test that checks your cholesterol.
Experts recommend that adults over age 20 get cholesterol screening every 5 years. People who are at higher risk of heart disease should check their cholesterol more frequently.
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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How Often Should You Have Cholesterol Checked
Healthy adults should have a lipid profile test every four to six years. Anyone who has diabetes, heart disease, or a family history of high cholesterol should be tested more frequently. Children and younger adults should have a lipid profile baseline established between ages 9 and 11 and again between ages 17 and 21.
Cholesterol Healthcare Provider Discussion Guide
Get our printable guide for your next healthcare provider’s appointment to help you ask the right questions.
What Causes Hdl To Drop
- âDiet.â Eating a diet that is low infruits and vegetables and high in trans fats, processed meats and refinedcarbohydrates like sugar all negatively affect HDL levels.
- âExercise.â A sedentary lifestyle whereyou don’t get enough exercise also has a negative effect.
- âObesity.â Having high body weight isanother factor that seems to negatively affect HDL levels.
- âSmoking.â Smoking has also been shownto decrease HDL levels.
- âHigh blood sugar and blood pressure.âPoor management of both of these cardiovascular issues can also pose problemsfor your HDL cholesterol levels.
The Mayo Clinic also notes that certain medications, such as those containing testosterone or anabolic steroids, can lower HDL levels.
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Consider What You Eat:
It is said that we are what we eat. While not to be taken literally, it certainly has a grain of truth. The food you eat does play a role in your health and your cholesterol levels. Fruits and vegetables are natures bounty and play a significant role in keeping your body healthy and your cholesterol at an appropriate level.
When we eat foods that are high in trans fatty acids these are also known as trans fats, our HDL cholesterol is lowered, and, at the same time, your LDL levels increase. The trick is not to eat any foods that are high in trans fats. They are typically what we call junk food, such as packaged foods, those high in preservatives and added salt. Included in this list are all the naughty but nice foods like baked goods cookies, pies and cakes.
The list continues with food such as French fries, doughnuts and fried chicken. Additionally, certain oils, such as palm kernel, coconut and palm oils also contain large amounts of saturated fat. (Saturated fat generally comes from the food we get from animals such as meat.
Trans fats are typically manufactured.) Try a healthier option monounsaturated fat which is found in olive, canola and peanut oils are far better than saturated fat. Other foods that are a good choice in healthy fats are nuts and fish. .
What Causes Low Hdl Cholesterol Levels
There are many causes for low HDL cholesterol levels.
Uncontrolled diabetes: High glucose levels can lower HDL cholesterol. Proper management of diabetes can help return your HDL cholesterol back into a healthy range.
Smoking: Chemicals in cigarettes can lower HDL cholesterol, while cessation can bring it back up.
Lack of physical activity: Even moderate physical activity has been found to give your HDL cholesterol levels a boost all you need is 30 minutes a day.
Excess weight: Being overweight can lower your HDL cholesterol levels. Shedding a few pounds can help.
Genetics: Sometimes, low HDL cholesterol levels can be hereditary. There are genetic disorders that cause low HDL cholesterol as well.
Stress: Long-term stress can negatively impact HDL cholesterol levels. Stress-induced sleep loss can further decrease your HDL.
Poor eating habits: A diet high in refined foods and sugar can contribute to high levels of LDL cholesterol.
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Treating High Hdl Cholesterol
If you don’t have any symptoms or other heart disease risks, you might not need any treatment for high HDL cholesterol. You may be able to lower your HDL by drinking less alcohol and eating a low-fat diet. It might also help to change your medication if you take a statin or another drug that raises HDL levels.
Stay on top of your cholesterol levels with regular blood tests. Ask your doctor how often you need cholesterol screening based on your risks.
Lose And Keep Off The Extra Pounds
If youre overweight or obese, shedding those excess pounds can help to raise HDL cholesterol. Leah Groppo, RD, CDE, a clinical dietitian at Stanford Health Care in Stanford, California, says that losing around 7 percent of your total body weight is enough to cause a metabolic shift. But, as Groppo notes, maintaining weight loss is key.
Abdominal obesity fat that accumulates around your waist rather than in the hips and thighs seems to be associated with heart disease risk and lower levels of the good cholesterol.
Effective weight loss methods include diet, exercise, and surgery. A comparative study published in December 2018 in Scielo.org found that obese participants who received sleeve gastrectomy, a type of weight loss surgery, showed a significant increase in their HDL cholesterol 12 months later.
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How Much Does The Test Cost
The price for HDL cholesterol testing is variable. Factors that can influence the cost of cholesterol testing include which measurements are included, where the blood sample is taken, and whether you have health insurance.
There may be separate charges for your blood draw, office visits, and laboratory analysis. In many cases, these costs will be at least partially covered by your health insurance if the HDL cholesterol test is recommended by your doctor. You can check with your health care plan for information about costs including a deductible or copayments.
Some health clinics or pharmacies have set prices for point-of-care cholesterol tests. In addition, point-of-care testing may be available for free or at a low cost at community events like health fairs.
At-home test kits differ dramatically in price. Devices that analyze cholesterol from a drop of blood can cost from under $150 to several hundred dollars. If repeat testing is needed, some tests allow you to purchase additional test strips.
Diagnosing And Treating Hypocholesterolemia
Blood tests are the standard way to diagnose cholesterol levels. Most doctors will consider an LDL cholesterol level less than 50 milligrams per deciliter or a total cholesterol level less than 120 mg/dL as low cholesterol. Total cholesterol is LDL and HDL added together and 20 percent of a persons triglycerides, which are another type of fat found in the bloodstream. You might be interested in knowing that an ideal LDL level is between 70 and 100 mg/dL.
If you havent had your cholesterol checked within the last two years, you should do so.
Lets say that you are diagnosed with low cholesterol what do you do? Low cholesterol treatment is only prescribed after a doctor has taken a close look at your diet, lifestyle, other potential health conditions, as well as your mental health.
Often times, low cholesterol is caused by something in the diet or a physical condition, so hypocholesterolemia treatment will focus on either foods or the physical ailment. In many cases, just eating cholesterol-rich foods wont solve the problem. Adjustments to diet often need to be coupled with other treatments. When cholesterol level is having an impact on a persons mental health or vice versa, an antidepressant may be prescribed.
During an evaluation, the doctor will also go over any medications that you might be taking. Some statin medications can cause cholesterol levels to decrease. In these situations, it is usually a matter of changing the dose or the medication.
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How Do I Know What My Hdl Level Is
A blood test can measure your cholesterol levels, including HDL. When and how often you should get this test depends on your age, risk factors, and family history. The general recommendations are:
For people who are age 19 or younger::
- The first test should be between ages 9 to 11
- Children should have the test again every 5 years
- Some children may have this test starting at age 2 if there is a family history of high blood cholesterol, heart attack, or stroke
For people who are age 20 or older::
- Younger adults should have the test every 5 years
- Men ages 45 to 65 and women ages 55 to 65 should have it every 1 to 2 years