Is HDL Cholesterol Good For You?
Living a healthier lifestyle is key to reducing heart diseases, but maintaining a healthy level of HDL cholesterol is essential, as this can significantly lower the risks.
A new study has shown that consuming high levels of HDL cholesterol is better than having low levels of LDL cholesterol. This is the leading factor in lowering the risks of heart attacks or stroke.
In this article, we are focusing on the benefits of HDL cholesterol and how to increase it in your body.
What You Should Know About HDL and LDL Cholesterol
Cholesterol is transported through your blood stream by lipoproteins. There are two different types: low-density and high-density lipoprotein.
HDL is the Good cholesterol. High levels of HDL have been shown to protect against heart attack. Low levels of HDL, however, can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke.
LDL is known as your bad cholesterol. When you have too much LDL circulating in your blood it can build up in the inner walls of your heart arteries. Over time this forms plaque. This plaque narrows your arteries and puts you at an increased risk for having a heart attack.
Know Your Cholesterol Levels
At the age of 20 and older, you should have your cholesterol tested, at least three times every year. It is best to have a blood test called lipid profile to find out your cholesterol numbers. This blood test is done after a 9 to 12 hour fast and gives information about your:
- Total cholesterol
- LDL cholesterol
- HDL cholesterol
If it is not possible to get a lipid profile done, knowing your total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol can give you a general idea about your cholesterol levels. If your HDL is less than 40 mg/dL, you will need to have a lipid profile done.
HDL cholesterol protects against heart disease, thus for HDL, higher numbers are better. A level less than 40 mg/dL is low and is considered a risk factor for developing heart disease. HDL levels of 60 mg/dL or more is normal and it helps lower your risk for heart disease.
Sources of HDL Cholesterol
A good cholestrol can be found in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, they include:
- Olive oil
- Fish oil
- Soyabean oil
- Sunflower oil
Health Benefits of HDL Cholesterol
Consuming diets with HDL cholesterol has lots of benefits. A good cholesterol:
- Lowers the risks of heart attacks.
- Reduces bad cholesterol.
- Gets rid of LDL cholesterol forming plagues in the arterial walls.
- Removes blood clots in your eyes, brain, veins and arteries.
How Do You Increase HDL Cholesterol
You can do this by lowering LDL cholesterol with therapeutic lifestyle changes. TLC is a set of things you can do to help lower your bad cholesterol and increase good cholestrol. This includes:
- TLC Diet – Consuming low saturated fat, low-cholesterol eating plan that calls for less than 7% of calories from saturated fat and less than 200mg of dietary cholesterol per day.
- Weight Management – For those who are over-weight, losing weight can help lower LDL and high triglyceride levels.
- Physical Activities – 30 minutes of regular physical exercises is recommended for everyone. This can help raise HDL and lower LDL and is especially important for those with high triglyceride and low HDL levels who are overweight.
High levels of HDL cholesterol is good for your health, this is the only way to lower your risk of getting heart diseases and stroke. HDL cholesterol helps remove LDL cholesterol from your arteries and veins. This prevents artery blockage and hardening of the arteries.
I hope this article helped you learn about the health benefits of HDL cholesterol.