How To Increase Hdl Cholesterol
Although HDL levels are driven by family genetics, you can improve HDL levels in three key ways:
- If you are a smoker, research clearly shows that quitting smoking can increase HDL.
- Adopting a heart-healthy diet low in fat and high in fiber can also modestly raise your HDL.
- Aerobic exercise can also have positive effects on HDL. Have trouble exercising? Find a buddy research shows it helps motivate you. That exercise can be as simple as increasing the amount of walking you do each week.
Lastly, although primarily used to decrease high LDL, some statin medications may potentially increase HDL levels moderately. Any medical treatment option should be discussed with your doctor. Importantly, high HDL does not protect you from the untoward effects of high LDL.
Lowering Your Total And Ldl Cholesterol Levels
Here are some things you can do:
Lose weight if you are overweight.
Exercise regularly. For example, walk or ride a bicycle for 30 minutes at least three times a week.
Eat fewer high-fat foods, like butter, cheese, meat, and some vegetable fats . Foods that are high in saturated fat should be less than 7 percent of your total daily calories.
Eat more high-fiber foods, like vegetables, fruits, grains, and whole-grain breads, cereals, and pasta.
Your doctor can help you plan a heart-healthy diet. If exercising and changing your diet do not help enough, you might need to take a medicine to lower your cholesterol level.
Recommended Reading: Vldl Cholesterol Low Levels
Is The Cholesterol Found In Canned Tuna Fish Healthy
Asking whether the cholesterol in a food is healthy is missing the point when it comes to dietary cholesterol 2. Its not the cholesterol in a food, but the ability of a food to stimulate your bodys production of its own cholesterol, thats primarily responsible for your cholesterol levels 2. The fats and oils in canned tuna will stimulate that production.
Recommended Reading: Does Canned Tuna Have Cholesterol
Also Check: Is Tuna Low In Cholesterol
What Makes Hdl Cholesterol So Good
HDL is short for high-density lipoprotein. Each bit of HDL cholesterol is a microscopic blob that consists of a rim of lipoprotein surrounding a cholesterol center. The HDL cholesterol particle is dense compared to other types of cholesterol particles, so it’s called high-density.
Cholesterol isn’t all bad. In fact, cholesterol is an essential fat. It provides stability in every cell of your body.
To travel through the bloodstream, cholesterol has to be transported by helper molecules called lipoproteins. Each lipoprotein has its own preferences for cholesterol, and each acts differently with the cholesterol it carries.
Experts believe HDL cholesterol may act in a variety of helpful ways that tend to reduce the risk for heart disease:
- HDL cholesterol scavenges and removes LDL — or “bad” — cholesterol.
- HDL reduces, reuses, and recycles LDL cholesterol by transporting it to the liver where it can be reprocessed.
- HDL cholesterol acts as a maintenance crew for the inner walls of blood vessels. Damage to the inner walls is the first step in the process of atherosclerosis, which causes heart attacks and strokes. HDL scrubs the wall clean and keeps it healthy
What Else To Know About Cholesterol
Optimal LDL-lowering therapy alone fails to avert the majority of heart disease. Its well known that lowering LDL cholesterol does, indeed, lower your risk for heart disease. But a sad fact is that despite the effectiveness of statin drugs for reducing heart disease risk, even optimal LDL-lowering therapy alone fails to stop 60% to 70% of coronary heart disease cases. Clearly, theres more to heart disease than LDL cholesterol!
Luckily, by looking beyond just total and LDL cholesterol, you can use your cholesterol ratio from your standard cholesterol test to tell you a lot about your risk for developing heart disease and having a heart attack or stroke. To improve your ratio, either increase your HDL or lower your total cholesterol, or both. Achieving this ratio of 3.5 or less is quite doable for most people using natural healing therapies.
Ingelsson E, Schaefer EJ, Contois JH, McNamara JR, Sullivan L, Keyes MJ, Pencina MJ, Schoonmaker C, Wilson PW, DAgostino RB, Vasan RS. Clinical utility of different lipid measures for prediction of coronary heart disease in men and women. JAMA. 2007 Aug 15 298:776-85.
Zhang L, Qiao Q, Tuomilehto J, et al DECODE Study Group. The impact of dyslipidaemia on cardiovascular mortality in individuals without a prior history of diabetes in the DECODE Study. Atherosclerosis. 2009 Sep 206:298-302.
This post originally appeared in 2012 and is regularly updated.
Recommended Reading: How Much Cholesterol In Pork
About Your Cholesterol Result
A cholesterol test can measure:
- total cholesterol the overall amount of cholesterol in your blood, including both “good” and “bad” cholesterol
- good cholesterol this makes you less likely to have heart problems or a stroke
- bad cholesterol this makes you more likely to have heart problems or a stroke
- triglycerides a fatty substance similar to bad cholesterol
When you get your result, you may just be told your total cholesterol.
You might be able to get separate results for your good and bad cholesterol and triglycerides. Ask your doctor or nurse.
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
You May Like: Is Pasta Bad For Your Cholesterol
What Can Lower Ldl Cholesterol Levels
Lifestyle and diet modifications are the main way to prevent high LDL cholesterol, and to keep a healthy level of HDL cholesterol. Eat a low-fat/high-fiberdiet, exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight, and do not smoke.
What Is High Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is made by the liver and obtained through the diet. It can be found in the fats in your blood. High cholesterol is when you have high amounts of cholesterol in the blood.
Cholesterol is essential in order for your body to continue building healthy cells, however having high cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease. This is because it can lead to a build-up of fatty deposits in your blood vessels, which overtime can make it difficult for enough blood to flow through your arteries and consequently to your heart.
Also Check: Normal Ldl Cholesterol Levels For Females
What To Know About Triglycerides
In addition to cholesterol, you might hear about your triglycerides, another kind of fat found in the bloodstream. Women should pay particular attention to this. A high level of triglycerides seems to predict an even greater risk for heart disease in women compared with men, says Michos.
When you take in more calories than you need, your body converts the extra calories into triglycerides, which are then stored in fat cells. Triglycerides are used by the body for energy, but people with excess triglycerides have higher risk of medical problems, including cardiovascular disease. Drinking a lot of alcohol and eating foods containing simple carbohydrates , saturated fats and trans fats contributes to high triglycerides. High levels may also be caused by health conditions such as diabetes, an underactive thyroid, obesity, polycystic ovary syndrome or kidney disease.
Triglycerides also circulate in the bloodstream on particles that may contribute to plaque formation. Many people with high triglycerides have other risk factors for atherosclerosis, including high LDL levels or low HDL levels, or abnormal blood sugar levels. Genetic studies have also shown some association between triglycerides and cardiovascular disease.
High Cholesterol: Prevention, Treatment and Research
What Types Of Cholesterol Are There
There are two different types of cholesterol including:
- “Bad Cholesterol” which carry cholesterol particles throughout your body. LDL cholesterol is bad because it builds up in the walls of your arteries, making them hard and narrow which can increase the risk of a heart attack.
- “Good Cholesterol” which picks up excess cholesterol and takes it back to the liver. Having high HDL is linked to lower risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
Recommended Reading: How Much Cholesterol In Pork Chops
What Are The Risks Linked To High Cholesterol
Too much LDL cholesterol in the blood can increase your risk of heart and blood vessel disease .
The excess LDL cholesterol leads to fatty deposits called plaque forming in the artery walls. Over time, the plaque causes narrowing and hardening of the arteries .
This can lead to:
- Angina when plaque builds up in the major arteries that supply your heart, known as the coronary arteries, they become narrower and are partially blocked, reducing blood flow and oxygen supply to the heart. This may cause shortness of breath and chest pain.
- Heart attack if a plaque in a coronary artery bursts , a clot may form and block the supply of blood to the heart, starving it of oxygen.
- Stroke if the blood vessels that supply the brain become narrower or blocked by plaque, blood supply to the brain can be severely reduced or cut off, causing a stroke. Strokes can also be caused when a clot from another part of the body travels through the blood and lodges in an artery in the brain.
- Peripheral vascular disease this usually affects the arteries that supply the legs and feet, causing leg pain when walking , and even pain when resting, when the circulation is more badly affected
A high level of HDL cholesterol is good because HDL cholesterol helps remove other forms of cholesterol from the blood, taking them back to the liver where theyâre removed from the blood and passed out of the body.
Fruits That Lower Cholesterol: Pomegranate
When you have high levels of cholesterol in your blood, eating a pomegranate or drinking pomegranate juice every day may help reduce and prevent cholesterol build-up in the arteries preventing clogging. Besides its outstanding antioxidant and polyphenol content makes it a perfect fruit to protect heart health. And if you care about your weight, you should know that pomegranates are very low in calories and even help prevent fluid retention.
Read Also: Does Canned Tuna Have Cholesterol
Getting Your Cholesterol Checked
Many people have never had their cholesterol checked, so they dont know whether they are at risk.
High cholesterol usually has no signs or symptoms.
The only way to know whether you have high cholesterol is to get your cholesterol checked. Your health care team can do a simple blood test, called a lipid profile, to measure your cholesterol levels.
Read Also: Tahini Cholesterol
Does Good Cholesterol Offset Bad Cholesterol
4.7/5HDL doesLDLHDLhighgood cholesterolHDLdoesexplained here
HDL cholesterol is the well-behaved “good cholesterol.” This friendly scavenger cruises the bloodstream. As it does, it removes harmful bad cholesterol from where it doesn’t belong. High HDL levels reduce the risk for heart disease — but low levels increase the risk.
Beside above, what is a good LDL and HDL level? Women age 20 or older:
|Type of Cholesterol|
Similarly, you may ask, how do I lower my good cholesterol?
A few changes in your diet can reduce cholesterol and improve your heart health:
Can high HDL cause high total cholesterol?
However, cholesterol levels are more complicated than that. High-density lipoprotein cholesterol, often known as goodcholesterol, is actually beneficial for the heart. Finding the right balance.
Here are some of the best morning foods for improving your numbers.
Read Also: Tuna Fish Cholesterol
Will I Still Be Able To Get Life Insurance If My Cholesterol Is High
Life insurance premiums are dependent on several factors, including cholesterol reading. General health status is one factor in determining rates for an individuals life coverage policy some people might need lower minimums because they have certain conditions that could lead to premature death, like cancer or heart disease. Cholesterol numbers are used to determine risk class in life insurance.
The ratio of total cholesterol over HDL is a common measure taken by underwriters, and it should be five or less for an applicant to receive their desired coverage. Fill in the quote form above to compare life insurance quotes to find a policy suited to your requirements
Other Ways To Improve Your Hdl
In addition to nutrition, lifestyle changes that can raise your HDL include physical activity, smoking cessation and weight loss, Dr. Sullivan says.
Moderate physical activity is good for your overall health, but it can specifically help raise HDL. If you arent currently physically active, begin working toward at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week.
A good place to start is just to start sitting less and moving more, Dr. Sullivan says.
Smoking cigarettes is associated with low HDL levels. So quitting smoking can allow your HDL cholesterol to return to a healthier level and reduce your risk of heart disease.
Moderate weight loss even just 5 to 10 percent of your current weight has been shown to improve cholesterol levels along with blood pressure and blood sugar.
Work on making small changes with your nutrition and activity routines. For example, swap out sugary drinks for water, try taking a short walk during a break, Dr. Sullivan says.
Recommended Reading: How Much Cholesterol In Crab
Why Do I Need A Cholesterol Test
You will get a free NHS cholesterol test if you have a number of risk factors for high cholesterol including if youre over 40, have coronary heart disease or diabetes, have had a stroke or mini stroke, or have a family history of cardiovascular disease or a cholesterol-related condition.
Understanding your cholesterol levels
We hear a lot about the dangers of high cholesterol, but unless you have a blood test, you have
Eat Whole Grains Instead Of Processed Carbs
Include foods rich in fibre into your daily diet, like wholegrain oats or psyllium husk. These can help you feel fuller for longer, so they will curb cravings and prevent sugar spikes that lead to weight gain. Highly processed carbohydrates can be very harmful if they make up a large percentage of your diet. Carbs give you energy, but too much has been shown to increase cholesterol levels in the liver, making more by mistake
Also Check: Is Bone Broth High In Cholesterol
Also Check: How Much Cholesterol In Skinless Chicken Breast
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 âbadâ LDL cholesterol by 22% after only seven days.
What Is The Difference Between Good And Bad Cholesterol
Last reviewed January 6, 2022
Reading Time: 2 minutes
See All Topics expand_more
See Fewer Topics expand_less
Cholesterol a waxy substance that builds in the arteries is not completely harmful, despite its reputation for being bad for you. In fact, some of it can even improve your health when consumed in the right amounts.
The physicians at the USC Cardiac and Vascular Institute at Keck Medicine of USC can measure your good cholesterol and bad cholesterol levels, and help you adopt healthier eating and living habits so you can achieve the best balance of both.
Recommended Reading: Do Clams Have Cholesterol
What Your Numbers Mean
Looking at your blood test results, youâve probably noticed that there are two types of cholesterol, LDL and HDL. You may have also heard that thereâs âgoodâ cholesterol and âbadâ cholesterol, both of which are important in evaluating your cardiovascular health. Confused yet?
A quick refresher: LDL, or low-density lipoprotein, is the âbadâ kind of cholesterol. It transports tiny droplets of fat throughout the body, depositing them in your arteries, where they block blood flow. HDL, or high-density lipoprotein, on the other hand, is the âgoodâ kind of cholesterol that helps cleanse your blood vessels of the gnarly gunk that can clog them. .
You can take different measures to change your LDL and HDL through a diet, but in general, dietary tips for raising one and lowering the other donât conflict. If both your numbers need adjusting, thereâs no need for two separate diet plans.
Recommended Reading: Diy Cholesterol Test
How Can I Lower My Cholesterol
There are two main ways to lower your cholesterol:
- Heart-healthy lifestyle changes, which include:
- Heart-healthy eating. A heart-healthy eating plan limits the amount of saturated and trans fats that you eat. Examples include the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes diet and the DASH Eating Plan.
- Weight Management. If you are overweight, losing weight can help lower your LDL cholesterol.
- Physical Activity. Everyone should get regular physical activity .
- Managing stress. Research has shown that chronic stress can sometimes raise your LDL cholesterol and lower your HDL cholesterol.
- Quitting smoking.Quitting smoking can raise your HDL cholesterol. Since HDL helps to remove LDL cholesterol from your arteries, having more HDL can help to lower your LDL cholesterol.
- Drug Treatment. If lifestyle changes alone do not lower your cholesterol enough, you may also need to take medicines. There are several types of cholesterol medicines available, including statins. The medicines work in different ways and can have different side effects. Talk to your health care provider about which one is right for you. While you are taking medicines to lower your cholesterol, you should continue with the lifestyle changes.
NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Recommended Reading: Snow Crab Cholesterol