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HowTo Raise Your Good Cholesterol (HDL)

Updated on September 30, 2010

Cholesterol check

When was the last time you had your cholesterol checked?

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Some foods that increase your HDL

Guava Fruit
Guava Fruit
Dark Chocolate
Dark Chocolate
Orange Juice
Orange Juice
Fish on the grill
Fish on the grill
Walnuts
Walnuts
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and Vegetables
Various Legumes
Various Legumes

Good Cholesterol (HDL)

We've always heard how important it is to keep your cholesterol low to ward off heart attacks and strokes, but not much was said on how important it is to raise yout HDL through diet. For the record; LDL is bad cholesterol and HDL is good cholesterol. The average range of HDL is at least 35-40 mg/DL. The HDL molecule is very complex that consists of proteins, lipids and cholesterol. What takes place in our bodies is the HDL molecule scours the walls of blood vessels, and cleans out excess cholesterol of the bad kind (LDL). The higher the HDL is, the more effective and the more cholesterol is removed from the body. Remember HDL protects your heart.

The only way to determine cholesterol levels is through blood tests, which I have done as part of my physical every year. I am fortunate enough to have a HDL level of about 85, so I am thrilled.

Here are very easy and useful tips to make a part of your life to raise and keep HDL levels high.

1. Cook with olive oil as much as possible and use it in salad dressing mixed with your favorite vinegar. It is a great source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat.

2. Increase your fiber intake. Sources are legumes, fruits, cereals, vegetables, and whole grain breads.

3. Boost up your intake of chromium. Good sources of foods are, Brewer's yeast, apples with skins, fish and other seafoods. Also include liver, prunes, mushrooms and nuts.

4. Eat lots of walnuts. They are a superfood.

5. Drink orange juice According to a Canadian study, just 3 glasses per day can raise HDL by 21%.

6. Eat more fish, at least 3 servings a week. Omega-3 fatty acids have been documented to raise HDL, hands down.

7. If you drink alcohol, do it in moderation.

8. Garlic, garlic garlic. Need I say more?

9. Eat guava fruit. Studies have shown that adding guava to your diet increases HDL on average by 8 percent.

10. Make exercise a part of your life.

11. Donate blood, because doing so boosts the concentration of HDL, according to a South African Study.

12. Drop those pounds if you are overweight.

13. Give up smoking.

14. Eat dark chocolate because it slows LDL oxidation by about 8% and at the same time lifts HDL levels about 4%.

15. Eat foods high in calcium. In a New Zealand study, women taking Calcium citrate supplements raised their HDL by a good 7%. Low fat dairy and yogurt are great food sources for calcium.

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    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 5 years ago from Long Island, NY

      I have my cholesterol checked every year with my annual physical and it's right on the edge. I know I could do better.

      I eat already very much like you indicated in your hub but you gave a few examples of things I don't do. So I'm going to add them to my diet as well.

      I have my next annual physical coming up in two months so it will be interesting to see how things are after doing everything you said in your article. It's a really useful list you created and I voted up.

    • Coolmon2009 profile image

      Coolmon2009 8 years ago from Texas, USA

      Good information thanks for sharing

    • profile image

      Fasting Cholesterol 8 years ago

      hi

      High-density lipoproteins. These lipoproteins are often referred to as HDL, or "good," cholesterol. They act as cholesterol scavengers, picking up excess cholesterol in your blood and taking it back to your liver for disposal. The higher your HDL level, the less "bad" cholesterol you'll have in your blood. In addition, HDL may have other protective effects on your heart and blood vessels, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-clotting effects.

      Total cholesterol. This is the simplest and least expensive test, and fasting isn't necessary. The test doesn’t require any sophisticated lab work, either. The simple, do-it-yourself home cholesterol tests measure total cholesterol. A reading of 200* or below puts you in the desirable category; 200–239 is borderline high; and 240 or more is high.

      But total cholesterol includes both “good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and the “bad” varieties, chiefly low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL). So if your total cholesterol is in the desirable category, it’s possible that you may have unhealthy levels of HDL (too low) and LDL and VLDL (too high). Think of total cholesterol as a first glimpse, a peek. Doctors are not supposed to make any treatment decisions based on this number alone.

      thanks

    • laringo profile image
      Author

      laringo 9 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

      Robinsons,thanks for stopping by my Hub and I like to inform and encourage all who want to better there lives in all ways.

    • profile image

      Robinsons 9 years ago

      Thanks for the information. Everytime I read about the health benefits of fruit drinks, I feel the need to pop out the store and buy lots of fresh goods. Thanks again - your making the world a healthier place.

    • laringo profile image
      Author

      laringo 9 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

      Exactly marisuewrites, that's why I eat steelcut oatmeal at least 4 mornings a week. Thanks for stopping by.

    • marisuewrites profile image

      marisuewrites 9 years ago from USA

      Very good advice for us baby boomers particularly! =))

    • laringo profile image
      Author

      laringo 9 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

      badcompany99...thank you much.

    • laringo profile image
      Author

      laringo 9 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

      Thanks Jerille, I'll be on a mission this weekend. Have a great day!

    • Jerilee Wei profile image

      Jerilee Wei 9 years ago from United States

      Found the acai and mangosteen juice in the regular refrigerated juice department in the local big groceries.

    • Mr Nice profile image

      Mr Nice 9 years ago from North America

      Hola laringo!

      Thanks for the sweet feedback I really appreciate.

      Hasta luego

    • laringo profile image
      Author

      laringo 9 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

      Hi DarleneMarie,It just goes to show you that the health industry needs to do a better job at emphasiziing that the importance of the keeping our HDL up, the higher the better. All the focus is on the LDL. I'm glad you were able to get a handle on your situation but I bet after a real scare for you and your family. Have a great day!

    • DarleneMarie profile image

      DarleneMarie 9 years ago from USA

      Great Hub!  I never had a problem with high cholesterol, my good was too low though.  At 39 I had a heart attack.  My good cholesterol was 19 (I think you are in danger of having a heart attack if it is below 29), during that time I always felt tired.

      Happy to say I take a few supplements that successfully raised it to over 40.  Omega 3, Niacin and Red Yeast Rice. 

      Thanks for the great info!

    • laringo profile image
      Author

      laringo 9 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

      Jerilee Wei, good for you on lowering your cholesterol. Oatmeal is very good, especially the steelcut oatmeal. Thanks for the brand of the acai juice. DId you find it in the health food section? All it takes is dedication and eating right to stay and keep healthy. Have a great life!

    • Jerilee Wei profile image

      Jerilee Wei 9 years ago from United States

      When your doctor sends you a note asking if you are shoveling your grave with your spoon, you know it's time to address cholesterol. Working on this and had success with the fiber tip (oatmeal), losing weight (but not enough yet) and one small change that dropped me 70 points was drinking a grocery store purchase of acai berry plus mangosteen (Bom Dia brand) (6 oz per day). Now, I'm working on exercise and your suggestion of calcium. Great hub! 60 points of bad cholesterol still to go.

    • laringo profile image
      Author

      laringo 9 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

      Mr Nice, a fitting name for you...anyway I thank you for adding more useful and helpful info for those looking for a longer and healthier life. I feel as long as we are here on this beautiful earth, we might as well live and feel right.

    • Mr Nice profile image

      Mr Nice 9 years ago from North America

      Hola laringo!

      An excellent hub on good & bad cholesterol, your suggestion are very excellent. I just add little more info because most of the people don't know about it.

      I believe moderation is the key to healthy living & if you follow the advice in the hub you will live trouble free. Thanks for sharing the wonderful info.

      I also published a hub on this topic please visit the link.

      https://hubpages.com/health/Honey-And-Nuts-Fight-C...

      Hasta luego

    • laringo profile image
      Author

      laringo 9 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

      Hi jim10, yes if you are a pretty healthy eater anyway then you probably have a lot of good cholesterol. I also love the guava juice because it is thick and wholesome. Just about as natural as it can be.

    • laringo profile image
      Author

      laringo 9 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

      Hello franaciaonline, I'm glad the honey is working for you. Also the food to raise your HDL are not complex and are always available, many for snacking.

    • laringo profile image
      Author

      laringo 9 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

      Ashley, garlic is another wonder food which I put into as much food as possible. Here s the official definition of chromium to save you some time.

      Chromium is an element; that is, it is one of the basic building blocks of all things, both living and non-living

    • laringo profile image
      Author

      laringo 9 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

      William, now is the time to start. You can be young, old or in between. Cholesterol doesn't discriminate. As far as the ice cream sticks, I don't think just being coated with dark chocolate counts. One thing though,once you've raised your HDL its ok to treat yourself.

    • jim10 profile image

      jim10 9 years ago from ma

      Great Hub about lowering cholesterol. I have never had mine checked. But, I eat a lot of these and I'm not too worried. I should start giving blood though. It seems like it is good for your health overall to make newer blood cells. Plus I hear you get a cookie. My grandmother had high cholesterol but she started eating lots of almonds and that seemed to help a lot. I have tried guava juice and it is great. I will need to see if I can get the whole fruit somewhere. They are definitely not at my local grocery store.

    • franciaonline profile image

      franciaonline 9 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks again for this hub, laringo. Your hub on honey has been helpful. Now again, this hub will help a lot of people.

      I love garlic and I take garlic juice with lemon to boost my immune system. Of course, I add honey if I have colds or fever.

    • AshleyVictoria profile image

      AshleyVictoria 9 years ago from Los Angeles

      mmmm, I love garlic...increaing garlic intake won't be hard. What is chromium? It looks like I have some googling to do :)

    • William F. Torpey profile image

      William F Torpey 9 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      Good hub, laringo. My diet is atrocious and so is my cholesterol, but I'll try to follow some of your excellent recommendations. All my ice cream sticks have dark chocolate coatings... if that helps!

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