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.

Maybe with a few changes we can all get our HDL over 60 and reduce our chances of heart disease.


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9. March 2019
9. March 2019
My HDL was always below 30. I take metformin to Control blood sugar. I take Clopitab 75, Roseday 20. Recently HDL came down from 26 to 20 and then now 17 Triglyceride, LDL, total Cholesterol are good. Please advise how to boost HDL.

30. October 2016
30. October 2016
Eating half an onion a day increases HDL by 30 percent. Takes around 2 to 3 months to see the difference.

Natural Cholesterol Reducer
29. July 2009
Natural Cholesterol Reducer
29. July 2009
These are definitely easy and useful ways to increase HDL. Very useful tips, indeed. Thanks for sharing.


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