Cholesterol has two very contradictory types, LDL and HDL. LDL is bad cholesterol because its very high fat content makes it easy to stick to blood vessel wall. While HDL is known as good cholesterol because of its high protein content. HDL is responsible for carrying excess cholesterol brought by LDL to the liver to re-process and lower cholesterol levels. Thus HDL plays a major role in preventing the attachment of fat and bad cholesterol in the walls of blood vessels. The minimum level of HDL the body needs is 60 mg/dl.
How to get high HDL cholesterol levels?
The way is to run a healthy lifestyle habits, like:
Maintain a healthy weight
Weight can affect cholesterol levels. But there is good news, if you are overweight, losing even a few pounds can improve your HDL level. Each loss of 1 kg (2 pounds), your HDL may increase by 0.35 mg/dl and approximately 1 mg/dl for every 3 kg (6 pounds). To maintain your weight in a healthy range, focus on dietary changes and exercise. Motivate yourself by remembering the benefits of losing weight, such as a healthier, more energetic, and immune-enhancing heart.
Physical activity has been proven to provide tremendous benefits for health. Physical activity will increase the formation of HDL cholesterol by increasing insulin sensitivity and utilization of blood glucose. Physical activity can also reduce inflammation as well as lose weight, while it will also burn body fat as fuel. The end result is the level of HDL cholesterol in the blood will increase. Exercising is the best way to raise good cholesterol.
Choose healthy fats
Just like cholesterol, there are good fat good and bad fats. Eating fatty foods like olive oil, omega-3 foods, and avocados can help raise your HDL cholesterol.
Consume more dark-colored vegetables and fruits.
All fresh foods have health benefits, but fresh foods that are dark red and purple can increase HDL levels and lower LDL levels. Blackberries, grapes, purple sweet potatoes, purple cabbage and purple carrots are dark-colored foods rich in antioxidants, especially colorful compounds called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins can raise HDL levels by nearly 14%, and lower LDL levels.
Wise in drinking alcohol
Not just any alcohol you can drink to raise HDL cholesterol levels. Choose a moderate alcohol like red wine at least once a day, can increase the amount of good cholesterol in the body.
If you smoke, stop. Because if you stop smoking, the levels of HDL in the blood will increase by 15% to 20%. Of course quitting smoking is not easy. You can try more than one strategy to quit smoking. Communicate this with your doctor, your doctor may advise your mission to quit smoking.
Consult a doctor
In order to better know clearly how to raise good cholesterol, you should consult a doctor to get the right advice.