What is Good Cholesterol?

The HDL cholesterol, more commonly called the good cholesterol, works on scouring the walls and membranes of the blood vessels to clean out the excess amounts of cholesterol.

It then brings out this excess cholesterol, which if otherwise had stayed and accumulated will have become plaques that can cause coronary heart disease, back into the liver to be processed for excretion.

Therefore, when measuring an individual’s HDL cholesterol level, we somehow are measuring how effective his blood vessels are being cleaned and scrubbed free of the excessive cholesterol.

What is the right amount of good cholesterol needed by our body? HDL cholesterol levels that are below 40 mg/dL may result in a higher risk of coronary heart conditions, even when an individual has normal counts of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol or bad cholesterol levels.

low cholesterol diet

The normal measurement of HDL levels should be between 40 mg/dL and 60 mg/dL. However, HDL cholesterol levels that are higher than 60 mg/dL are ideal as such levels actually protect people from coronary problems. It has been found out by heart doctors that when we maintain a high HDL cholesterol level, this makes for a much better health.
What should we do to increase the good cholesterol?

Quit smoking

If you are currently a smoker, giving up the habit will have the beneficial effect of a significant increase in your HDL levels.

Do regular exercise

People must come to realize that regular aerobic exercise such as jogging, brisk walking, or riding the bike, or any other exercise that can raise your heart rate for 20 minutes at least, is one of the most effective ways that can increase their HDL cholesterol levels.  Latest researches suggest that the length of time the exercise is performed, rather than its intensity, is more important in the goal of raising HDL cholesterol. However, so long as it is aerobic and the time spent doing it is 20 minutes to half an hour, this already have a decent effect on your HDL level.

Lose significant amount of weight

Excess weight not only promotes an increase in bad cholesterol, but it creates damage further by reducing your HDL cholesterol. As an overweight person, reducing his excess poundage will help in increasing his HDL levels. Especially if your excess weight is concentrated on the abdomen, it’s a signal for you to lose it, otherwise you risk having higher bad cholesterol in your system. Generally the weight to hips ratio is important when wanting to know if weight loss is indeed imperative.

Cut down on trans fatty acids

These acids can be found in many foods, especially those food brands which have labels saying hydrogenated vegetable oils. Trans fatty acids wreak havoc to our health not only by increasing the bad cholesterol levels, but reducing the good cholesterol levels as well. Eliminating these acids from our diet will help in increasing our HDL levels.

Consume more soluble fiber

Soluble fibers should be included in our diets as they help in reducing LDL cholesterol and increasing the HDL levels. Soluble fibers can be found in fruits, vegetables, oats and legumes. It will do you good in terms of your good cholesterol if you consume two servings of soluble fibers everyday.

Take on more monounsaturated fats

Our diet must include monounsaturated fats such as avocado oil, canola oil, olive oil and those fats that are present in peanut butter. Such fats and oil actually increase good cholesterol levels without affecting the total cholesterol.