There are many ways to Increase or Improving Good Cholesterol Levels (HDL Cholesterol). While common, High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) is important! Research progress has brought greater attention to lipid (or fat) blood, or what we often call good cholesterol.
Good cholesterol does not refer to the cholesterol of food we eat, but high-density lipopretein (HDL) cholesterol circulating in our blood. HDL is one of the fats measured in a blood-test lipid panel by a doctor. This HDL component is what you want bigger, because higher HDL is associated with lower risk of heart disease.
Experts from the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) note that although LDL or “bad” cholesterol gets more attention, there is growing evidence that HDL plays a important role.
The Facts About Good Cholesterol
- HDL cholesterol content is usually 20% -30% of your total blood cholesterol.
- There is evidence that HDL helps protect the body against the accumulation of plaque (fat deposits) on coronary artery walls.
- Research shows that a decrease in the five HDL cholesterol levels is associated with a 25% increased risk of heart disease.
- In a prospective study, a study that followed participants over a period of time to observe events such as heart attack or death from heart disease, it is evident that HDL is usually the most lipid risk factor associated with heart disease risk.
- HDL cholesterol levels are thought to be influenced by genetic factors.
- Generally women have higher HDL cholesterol levels than men. About a third of men and a fifth of women have HDL levels below 40 mg / dL. Doctors consider that levels of HDL less than 40 mg / dL were low.
The Dutch researchers who have analyzed 60 studies, concluded that the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL (where your total cholesterol rate is divided by your HDL score) is a better marker for coronary artery disease than with only LDL measurements alone.
“Increasing HDL levels is the next step in preventing heart disease,” said PK Shah, MD, director of cardiology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Shah said that if new drugs designed to raise HDL levels prove effective, then the drug could potentially reduce the number of heart attacks and strokes by 80% to 90%, and save millions of people. Currently, HDL-enhancing drugs are being tested.
How Does HDL Cholesterol Help Your Heart?
Experts do not yet know for sure how HDL cholesterol helps reduce the risk of heart disease. But there are some forecasts.
The NCEP says that high levels of HDL appear to protect the body from the formation of plaque in the artery walls (a process commonly called atherogenesis), according to a study conducted on animals.
While laboratory studies show that HDL triggers the loss of cholesterol from cells found in plaque or wounds in the arteries.
“Recent studies show that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of HDL also inhibit therapyogenesis,” says the NCEP report.
8 Ways to Increase HDL Cholesterol (Improving Good Cholesterol Levels)
Many people do not know that some dietary and lifestyle changes can help raise your HDL cholesterol level, even if it is a minor change.
Here are some tips to improve your good cholesterol level:
- Orange Juice. According to a small study in the UK, by drinking three glasses of orange juice a day, you can raise HDL levels by 21%, although it requires a substantial nutritional commitment because it contains 330 calories. The study highlights the high antioxidant effects of fruits and vegetables. Wait for further research results in the coming years.
- Glycemic load. Glycemic load is basically the order of how much a certain standard portion of food in raising your blood sugar. According to a recent small study, as the glycemic load in your diet goes up, HDL cholesterol seems to be falling. In line with these principles, the NCEP report recommends that most of our carbohydrate intake comes from whole grains, vegetables, fruits, fat-free, and low-fat dairy products. This is because these foods tend to be at the bottom of the glycemic scale.
- Choosing good fats. Substituting saturated fats with monounsaturated fats can not only help lower “bad” cholesterol levels, but can also increase “good” cholesterol levels, according to a Food & Fitness bulletin adviser from Cornell University Women’s Health Center.
- Soybeans. When replacing animal-based products, soy-based foods can have benefits for heart health. Soy products contain low saturated fat and high unsaturated fat content. Soy products are also high in fiber. A study found that soy protein, as well as isoflavones found in soy, can raise HDL levels by 3%, which could reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by about 5%, “said Mark Messina, PhD, a leading soy expert. Messina says that soy can also lead to a small reduction in LDL cholesterol and triglycerides (another type of blood fat), and possibly increased blood vessel function. Other studies have shown a decrease in LDL cholesterol (about 3%) and triglycerides (about 6%) with about three servings of soy per day, which is about 0.45 kg tofu or three glasses of soy shake. Further research should focus on whether high-soya dietary interventions are associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.
- Alcohol settings. Drinking moderate amounts of alcohol is associated with higher levels of HDL.
- Aerobic Sports. According to many health experts, moderately exercising for at least 30 minutes every day of the week, is a sports recipe that can help raise your HDL levels.
- Stop smoking. Experts agree that by stopping smoking can also increase your HDL levels a bit.
- Lose weight. According to NCEP, overweight or obesity contributes to low levels of HDL cholesterol, and is among the causes of low HDL levels, according to NCEP.
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