How to Raise Good Cholesterol Levels
It’s always a good idea to keep your total cholesterol lower than 200 mg per dL, and that also includes keeping down your bad LDL cholesterol level to under 100 mg per dL. But you can’t ignore your level of HDL cholesterol, which is considered the good cholesterol.
What is Good Cholesterol?
You need to know how to raise good cholesterol because it helps clean up against bad cholesterol. The liver produces cholesterol which actually helps your body. The problem is that the low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol has this tendency to create plaque that blocks the artery. On the other hand, the high density lipoproteins (HDL) take the cholesterol back to the liver, which then eliminates it from the body.
If you want to be technical about it, there are actually 18 kinds of cholesterol, but doctors just categorize them as good and bad cholesterol to avoid confusion. The acceptable HDL level is between 40 to 60 mg/dL, but you should try to aim for more than 60 mg/dL. If you can learn how to increase good cholesterol to that level, you get additional protection against heart disease.
Tips on How to Improve Good Cholesterol
There are some simple goals to aim for if you want to know how to raise HDL cholesterol levels, but some may not be as easy as you think.
- Lose extra weight. This seems so easy to understand, but succeeding is a different matter. But you have to try anyway, because every pound of fat you eliminate can increase your HDL level by a single percent. It doesn’t mean you need to become super-skinny, however.
- Quit smoking. This is another simple tip that’s one of the more difficult to achieve. But perhaps it can help motivate you to know that another benefit of quitting is that it improves your HDL levels.
- Limit your sugar intake. It is best that you limit the sugar intake to just 5% of your total calories. The more calories you consume from added sugar, the lower your HDL levels will be.
- Eat food items that can help boost HDL levels. These lots of fruits and veggies, especially those that care colored red or purple. Those colors are due to the presence of anthocyanins, which boost HDL levels. Other foods you can take include health fatty fish like salmon, and perhaps a little dark chocolate as well. And you can supplement your diet with an effective HDL booster such as CholesLo.
- Move around. You can do aerobic exercises such as brisk walking or jogging, as well as weightlifting. Those who are generally inactive can really benefit the most in terms of HDL levels when they begin exercising.
- Try red wine. This is only if you’re a drinker, because red wine boosts HDL levels. For men, two glasses (5 ounces each) should be the maximum, while women should limit themselves to just a single glass. But if you’re not a drinker, you don’t have to try red wine just for the improvement in your cholesterol levels.
Pay attention to your cholesterol levels. You can lower your LDL and total cholesterol levels, but make sure you boost your HDL levels as well.