While it may get a bad rap cholesterol a soft substance found in the bloodstream and in cells is essential for functions in the body helps regulate hormones and keep fat levels regulated. Cholesterol can have side effects however. Too much cholesterol can attach to your arteries increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke. There are two types of cholesterol: high-density lipoprotein (HDL) known as good” cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) known as “bad” cholesterol.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) works to reduce the amount of cholesterol buildup by carrying cholesterol away from the arteries to the liver and out of the body thereby reducing the risk of heart attack.
In comparison low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol when found in high numbers in the body can build up in the arteries increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
How are HDL Measured?
Beginning at 20 years a person having a blood test known as a lipid profile to measure cholesterol levels and repeat this test every five years or more frequently if a doctor recommends it.
While high LDL means an increased risk of heart disease is a high number of HDL cholesterol a positive indicator. Those HDL cholesterol measures 60 mg / dL is said to be at an optimal level and the level of which provides protection against cardiovascular disease.
Those who have HDL cholesterol measurement that is less than 50 mg / dL is considered to be at higher risk for heart disease and stroke.
Boosting Levels: Lifestyle Tips
If you are found to have a low HDL cholesterol ranking or simply want to improve your heart health it is important to engage in a few lifestyle activities. The first is regular exercise which can increase HDL cholesterol by an estimated 5 to 10 percent. By participating in any form of physical activity such as walking gardening dancing swimming cycling or take an aerobics class for 30 minutes a day five to six days a week you can increase HDL levels in approximately three weeks.
Another important HDL-boosting lifestyle activity: if you are a smoker stop
Boosting HDL :. Diet
Choosing a diet that contains healthy fats-such as those found in olive peanut and canola oil and nuts and fish may help increase HDL levels. Avoid saturated fats increase LDL levels such as red meat eggs or cheese.
alcohol in moderation (one drink per day for women and one to two drinks per day for men) have also been shown to increase HDL levels. Consume more could have adverse effects
Boosting HDL :. Supplements
There are several supplements that may also increase HDL levels for example:
?? Omega-3 supplements
?? linseed oil or flaxseed supplements
?? supplements for plant sterols such as beta-sitosterol and sitostanol
The recommended daily dose of these drugs may vary based on age height and weight. They should only be used as recommended.”