Your HDL Cholesterol Levels Are The Good Ones
There has been so much bad publicity about cholesterol that a lot of people think that all kinds of cholesterol is bad. The truth is that there are two kinds of cholesterol – the good and the bad and we all need the good to have a healthy body. The bad cholesterol is called LDL or low density lipoproteins, and this is what we are aiming to bring down. High density lipoproteins or HDL, on the other hand, are also known as good cholesterol, and these actually help the body in many ways.
Too many doctors today focus on their patients’ bad cholesterol and keep prescribing medications that will lower the count.
It’s true that the bad cholesterol has to be reduced but unfortunately, some medications also deplete the body’s good cholesterol levels, which means you are no better off. The risk for developing cholesterol-related problems will still be present and may even be higher than before.
Studies of the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) reveal that high amounts of good cholesterol (at least 40mg/dL) is good for the prevention of coronary heart disease, heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems. This is precisely why it is a good idea to increase your HDL count as much as you can.
Foods That Can Raise HDL Levels
Many people are aware that bad cholesterol levels can be reduced by avoiding saturated fats and opting instead for unsaturated varieties, which are deemed healthier. It makes sense that you actually consume foods that raise good cholesterol and reduces the bad.
Therefore most people don’t realize that they are actually getting double the benefits from these unsaturated fats – besides lowering your LDL or bad cholesterol, they can also increase your HDL or good cholesterol at the same time. Excellent sources of unsaturated fats are olive oil, peanut oil, canola oil, soybean oil, corn oil and sunflower oil.
In addition to these healthy fats and oils, it is also recommended that you get sufficient soluble fiber in order to boost your HDL count. Soluble fiber can be found in many fruits and vegetables, legumes and oats. Like unsaturated fats, soluble fiber also hits two birds with one stone by reducing LDL and increasing HDL at the same time.
Lifestyle Changes That Can Boost HDL Levels
Weight plays a huge role in your cholesterol count — the heavier you are, the higher your cholesterol usually is. So if you want to boost your HDL levels and reduce your LDL numbers, it’s advisable to lose those extra pounds. Quitting smoking is also helpful, as well as exercising regularly and limiting alcohol consumption.
It is amazing how what is often classed as ‘good living’ is not really good at all…and by that I mean exactly that. The high calorie diets, the alcohol drunk in excess and the laid back sedentary ‘relaxed’ lifestyle, does nothing to maintain a healthy heart or promote good cholesterol levels.
Are you living the ‘good life’ or are you on the path to living longer?