Thursday, January 04, 2007

How to increase your HDL (good) Cholesterol

In the previous blog, we discussed about how to lower LDL which is essentially through dieting. In this blog, we will discuss ways of increasing HDL levels.

If you remember, HDL is the good cholesterol which carries the excess cholesterol in the blood and brings it back to the liver.

Here are the ways to increase HDL levels


But we are talking aerobic excercises ie excercise until you really start panting and sweating for at least 30 mins on most days of the week. Taking a stroll in the garden for 10 minutes is not that helpful but still better then nothing. If you have heart problems, you will need to check with your doctor before you start doing strenuous excercises.

Lose Weight

Easier said than done but shedding a few kilos will increase your HDL levels.

Stop Smoking

Aside from lowering HDL levels, smoking also increases the tendency for your blood to clot as well as a host of other problems. The problem with most people is NOT that they don't know the ills of smoking, but they are unwilling to stop because they know it is difficult. It is probably the best thing you can do for yourself, your family and your wallet.

Reduce your intake of Trans Fats

Trans fats are formed when vegetable oils are hydrogenated to make them last longer and turn them into semi solid form eg margarine. Reducing your intake of Trans Fats will decrease your LDL and increase your HDL levels. You can read more about trans fats here

Increase your intake of Good Oils

Canola Oil, Avocado Oil and Olive Oils can help increase HDL levels. When buying oil for cooking at home, avoid "pure vegetable oils" because they just mean oil from a vegetable source. Instead, go for pure Canola Oil. I find Olive Oil does not complement Chinese cooking, but it is good to use good quality Olive Oils for your salads instead of Mayonnaise or other creamy salad dressings.

Alcohol or Not?

This one is controversial because it has been shown that a small amount of alcohol can raise HDL levels but too much will cause other alcohol related problems! People always say drink in moderation, but one man's moderation is another man's excess!! So when we say moderation, we mean one glass of wine 3 or 4 times a week or its equivalent. I think for some people this would be the easiest one to suggest!

Increase your intake of soluble fiber

Foods like oatbran, fruits, vegetables and legumes help to lower LDL and increase HDL. One good idea may be to replace the morning Roti Prata with cereals instead. Make sure you don't end up buying Honey Stars and Coco Pops, these are high in sugar!

So there you have it. I hope that is enough information to help you get started on a healthier LDL lowering, HDL increasing lifestyle. For more information on increasing your HDL levels you might want to check out this site.

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