How To Increase Good Cholesterol Levels

foods-that-raise-good-cholesterolThe HDL or high density lipoproteins is the “good” form of cholesterol in our body. The HDL cholesterol will take the excess cholesterol in your blood back to your liver for processing. The higher your HDL level the lower your risk for heart problems. LDL or low density lipoproteins is the “bad” cholesterol in your body. When your HDL levels are higher your LDL levels will be lower.

Its important to lower LDL levels in your body if they are high. It is equally important that you raise the HDL cholesterol levels in your body.

The factor which has the most impact on your HDL cholesterol level is your lifestyle. There are a number of changes you can make to your way of living if you truly want to increase your HDL levels.

If you are too heavy you need to slim down some. Your HDL level will be lower when you are carrying too much weight. You can achieve some improvement in your HDL level simply by losing a few of those extra pounds.

If you are inactive you will need to increase your physical activity to help raise your HDL level. Try 30 minutes of brisk exercise 5 days per week. Your activities might include brisk walking, swimming, gardening, running or whatever activity you enjoy. If you cannot handle 30 minutes of exercise at one time break your activities down into 3 intervals of 10 minutes each. Being more active will help you lose weight if that is a goal for you.

Eat a healthy diet including fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein and low fat dairy. Include whole grain products in your meal plan. You want to include good fats in your meal planning such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in some plants, salmon or tuna and nuts. Since fats are high in calories you want to limit the amount you eat. All of these dietary changes can be beneficial toward improving your cholesterol levels.

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If you are a smoker you will need to stop. You can raise your HDL level by as much as 10% if you eliminate smoking. Your health care professional may be able to assist you in kicking the smoking habit if you are unable to quit on your own.

If you drink alcohol you want to do it in moderation. Moderate alcohol consumption may help raise HDL levels   This means limit alcohol to one drink per day for women and men over 65. For men under 65 the limit should be no more than 2 drinks per day. If you don’t already consume alcohol do not start drinking as a way to raise HDL levels.

There are prescription medications designed to help raise the HDL level in your blood and lower the LDL level. Your health care professional will determine if you need to take this medication and he will outline a treatment program for you. If medication is prescribed for you be sure to take it as directed.

Achieving and maintaining a good ratio of HDL levels to LDL levels is extremely important for your heart health.