Simple Ways to Raise Your HDL (That”s the good cholesterol)

Simple Ways to Raise Your HDL (That”s the good cholesterol)

I just got my new cholesterol numbers. And to be honest my HDL cholesterol could sure go up. I have researched some ways to boost my number and wanted to pass them on to you.

Cholesterol is found in your body’s cells and in your blood stream. 75% of your total cholesterol is made by your body. 25% of your total cholesterol comes from the foods you eat. Without cholesterol important bodily functions could not happen. On the other hand, too much cholesterol is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease.

There are two types of cholesterol: LDL cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein) and HDL (high-density lipoprotein). LDL is the bad cholesterol, you want a low number. HDL is the good cholesterol, and you want a high number. HDL is the good cholesterol that cleans the excess bad cholesterol out of your blood vessels. High levels of HDL cholesterol protect against heart attack.

HDL Ranges:
Below 40 Not good
40-60 Normal
Above 60 Really great

Here are some simple steps you can take to raise your HDL number:

  • Drink 3 glasses of orange juice per day or add oranges to your daily diet.
  • Increase aerobic exercise. Running 7 miles per week would be awesome. But if you’re not fond of running any aerobic activity for 30 minutes at least 5 times a week.  Any increase in exercise helps.
  • Lose weight. Even a loss of 10 pounds can boost your HDL level.
  • Stop smoking and reduce your exposure to smoke.
  • Cut out trans-fatty acids found in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. These are found in margarine, shortening, French fries, fried chicken, doughnuts, cookies, pastries and crackers.
  • 1 or 2 alcoholic drinks per day. This is not a license to get drunk, excess alcohol consumption can cause you lots of other problems. But studies have shown that a small amount of alcohol is beneficial.
  • Increase monounsaturated fats. Those can be found in canola oil, avocado oil, olive oil, and peanut butter. (I am particularly pleased with this peanut butter suggestion).
  • Add fiber to your diet. Fiber can be found in oats, oatmeal, fruits, veggies and legumes.
  •  Add cranberry juice and grape juice to your diet.
  • Eat raw onions. OK this may not help your breath but ½ of a yellow or white onion per day increases HDL.
  • Increase omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, flaxseed and walnuts.
  • Add Niacin a B vitamin to your diet. It has been shown to raise HDL by as much as 15% to 35%. Niacin can be found in dairy, lean meats, poultry, fish, nuts, and eggs or taken a supplement.
  • Limit lean red meats. No more than once per week is recommended.<