HDL: The Good Cholesterol
By Karen Leatherman
Your total cholesterol is a combination of High Density Lipoprotein (HDL), Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL), and Very Low Density Lipoprotein (VLDL).
HDL is also referred to as good cholesterol since it is very beneficial to the body. It is responsible for removing LDL cholesterol — bad cholesterol — from the walls of the arteries and returning it into the blood, and thus prevents the accumulation of cholesterol in the body. HDL less than 40 mg/dl are considered a risk factor for Coronary Heart Disease. HDL greater than or equal to 60mg/dl is considered a negative risk factor and therefore protects against heart disease.
13 Ways To Raise Your HDL Naturally:
The Methuselah Syndrome
Would you like to live longer AND maintain superior brain health? Then you need to learn to raise and increase to your HDL cholesterol levels.
Interestingly, in what has been referred to as the “Methuselah Syndrome,” people with very high HDL levels tend to have exceptionally long, healthy life spans.
As most of you probably already know, there is a “good” cholesterol, and a “bad” cholesterol. LDL is generally considered to be the bad, while HDL is considered to be the good.
Therefore, for those interested in extending lifespan hearts healthy, I figured I’d put together an updated list on 13 ways you can increase your HDL naturally, without any prescription drugs:
- Eat more curry (Curcumin is the effective agent). One study noted a 29 percent increase in HDL.
- Grape Juice significantly increases HDL, according to a study out of Boston University School of Medicine.
- Eat foods high in Vitamin B3 (Niacin). Extended release niacin supplements also work. A recent study in the American Journal of Cardiology shows it can raise HDL by almost eight percent in just three months time.
- Eat more oranges. A study out of the University of Western Ontario showed a 21 percent increase in HDL.
- Aerobic exercise has been shown to significantly raise HDL levels.
- Decrease the amount of refined sugars and carbohydrates in your diet.
- Eat more raw yellow or white onions. Dr. Victor Gurewich of Tufts University. found that a raw onion per day can raise HDL as much as 30 percent.
- Avoid trans fats.
- Macadamia nuts. One study out of the University of Newcastle showed an HDL increase of eight percent.
- Polyphenols in Olive Oil. One recent study in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed the higher the polyphenol content in olive oil; the higher the HDL is raised.
- Eat more fish. Fish oil supplementation has also shown to work.
- Cranberries may increase HDL. A recent study published in the British Journal of Nutrition showed cranberry juice significantly boosted HDL.
- Stop Smoking. In just eight weeks, your HDL will begin to significantly rise.
Karen Leatherman is president/owner of Fitness Forum Occupational Testing Services. She started the first hospital-based fitness center in South Carolina where she started cardiac and pulmonary rehab programs. She has over 30 years performing exercise stress testing and has been testing firefighters for over 20 years. In addition, she was on the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), Health and Fitness Certification Committee where she travelled with a team from the U.S. to India and Hong Kong to teach and administer ACSM exams.
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