As important it is to lower your “Bad cholesterol” LDLs, it is as equally important to raise your “good Cholesterol” or HDLs.
Long ignored by doctors HDL is a great heart-protection factor. Every 1-point rise in HDLs reduces your risk for a fatal heart attack by 3 percent. It is as potent as a 1-point drop in LDLs. For too long, doctors only emphasized cutting LDLs. Now we know how to raise HDLs and that is has heart protecting benefits.
Here are 6 ways you can raise your HDLs levels today
Kicking the cigarette habit can raise your HDLs about 4 points.
Enjoy one alcoholic drink per day
A glass of wine with dinner could increase your good cholesterol by 4 points.
Snack on Walnuts or Pecans
You’ll enhance your HDL level by 2 to 3 points if you regularly snack on a small handful walnuts halves or pecans, report researchers from Shiraz University of Medical Sciences in Iran and from Loma Linda University in California.
Achieve a Healthier weight
If you doctor approves of your weight-loss plans, gradually moving to a healthy weight could raise your HDLs by 1 point for every 6 ½ pounds you lose, experts say.
Walk briskly, three times per day
You can raise you HDLs by 1 to 4 points with a fast paced stroll (just vigorous enough that conversation is a little difficult) for a half-hour on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, cardiologist say.
Avoid a Fat-Free Lifestyle
You read that right. Your body needs some fat to help maintain HDL levels. Choose “good” monounsaturated fats, found in olive and canola oils, and omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish, walnuts, and fish-oil capsules, to help your body keep HDLs on an even keel.
Here are some additional great HDL increasers to add into your diet
Olive oil: The type of heart-healthy fat found in olives and olive oil can increase you HDL and lower the inflammatory impact of LDL cholesterol in your body. Swap Extra-virgin olive oil for all you other oils and fats when cooking at low temperatures, as extra virgin olive oil breaks down at high temperatures. Use Olive oil in salad dressings, sauces, and to flavor foods once they’re cooked.
Whole Grains: Whole grains including bran, cereals, and brown or wild rice may give your HDL levels a boost. That’s because they contain fiber, specifically soluble fiber. Have at least two servings of whole grains per day. Things like Oatmeal for Breakfast, Whole-grain bread at lunch or a side of brown rice for dinner are all great ideas for getting this staple into your diet.
High Fiber Fruit: Fruits with lots of fiber, such as prunes, apples, and pears, can boost your HDL levels and lower your LDL levels.
Fatty Fish: Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish, can lower your LDL and increase your HDL. Look for fattier options, such as salmon, mackerel, albacore tuna, sardines, and rainbow trout.
Not sure what your Cholesterol levels are? Then it is probably a good time to schedule a physical exam with your doctor and have a blood screen panel done. This is something you should do at least once every year. An ideal HDL level is 60 milligrams or above. Your HDL is considered low if it’s below 40 milligrams.
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