What You Can Do to Raise Your "Good" HDL Cholesterol

By Brierley Wright, M.S., R.D., "Ask Our Nutritionist," November/December 2011

Easy health and nutrition ideas to make an impact on your cholesterol numbers.

"You do know that a diet high in saturated fat and low in carbohydrates is the proven way to raise HDL? And that a diet high in fructose and other sugars (carbohydrates) will lower HDL and raise triglycerides? "

It’s important to know your level of HDL cholesterol. All adults should have this checked every five years along with their lipid levels (total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, triglycerides). High-density lipoprotein, or HDL, is “good” because it carries excess cholesterol away from your arteries to your liver, where it’s cleared from the body. When HDL falls to 50 mg/dL or lower for women or is ≤40mg/dL for men, it signals an increased risk of heart disease. Levels of ≥60 mg/dL may be protective.

While genes strongly influence HDL levels, you can improve your numbers modestly. Regular physical activity is most effective, but diet plays a role too.

Next: Easy Diet Tips to Help Boost HDL >>

Get a full year of EatingWell magazine.
World Wide Web Health Award Winner Web Award Winner World Wide Web Health Award Winner Interactive Media Award Winner