Table of Contents
- What is HDL?
- What Are the Optimal Levels Of HDL?
- Top Tips To Increase Your HDL Levels Naturally
- Check Your HDL Levels Today!
HDL stands for high-density lipoprotein and it's the "good" type of cholesterol that circulates through the bloodstream. LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein and it's commonly known as the "bad" cholesterol, the one that you should have less of for optimal health. These two are some of the most popular and important forms of cholesterol and it's recommended to keep an eye on your levels regularly.
Cholesterol plays a vital role in the human body and you should monitor your levels to make the necessary adjustments whenever necessary. A lipid panel test can reveal your cholesterol levels with little to no effort. Keep reading to learn more about HDL, its importance and what to do to increase it efficiently.
What is HDL?
In broader terms, cholesterol is nothing but a waxy substance produced by your liver. It shields the interior of your arteries and veins and it contributes to their flexibility and health. You can also get cholesterol from various foods you eat.
Now, cholesterol splits into two parts - HDL (the good one) and LDL (the bad one). Ideally, a healthy individual should have more of HDL and less of LDL. You can do various things to increase your HDL and lower LDL naturally, but if nothing works, your doctor might prescribe statins to you. This is a type of medicine designed for those who have an unhealthy lipid profile.
What Are the Optimal Levels Of HDL?
Having low HDL levels is associated with a lot of cardiovascular problems, including coronary artery disease, atherosclerosis and even stroke. Having an unhealthy lifestyle, not exercising often and smoking can contribute to the lowering of HDL in the bloodstream.
The optimal levels of HDL are above 60 mg/dL of blood for both men and women. Having HDL levels of less than 40 mg/dL of blood puts you at risk for cardiovascular diseases. Fortunately, as mentioned earlier, you can do so much to improve your HDL levels and not have to deal with heart problems in the future.
Top Tips To Increase Your HDL Levels Naturally
It's important to remember that increasing HDL levels as well as lowering LDL levels is a process that takes time; it doesn't happen overnight. You might want to do a blood test first and see how you stand at the present moment. Then, you can adjust your lifestyle, make healthier choices and test yourself again after a few months. Here are a few scientifically proven ways to increase HDL:
Exercise More Often
There's no way going around the fact that more physical exercise will benefit your health tremendously and it will increase HDL levels for sure. This is the case for both aerobic and anaerobic exercises, so make sure that you try to incorporate at least 30-40 minutes of physical exercise 3-4 times a week to reap these benefits.
At the same time, regular physical exercise might also reduce your levels of LDL, so it's an added advantage for your health. Some studies suggest that the increase in HDL is noticeable even for men in their 50s.
Smoking cigarettes is one of the worst habits you can have because they contain thousands of toxic substances and many of them are known carcinogens. Even if you go for electronic cigarettes and vape nicotine in combination with e-juices, this will still cause inflammation in your lungs and lower your HDL levels.
Quitting smoking is not easy, but it can be done if you have the willpower or seek professional guidance. It's common knowledge that each cigarette can shorten your lifespan by eight minutes and increase LDL levels, so if you stop smoking, your HDL levels will naturally get back to normal.
Eat More Fiber
Getting more soluble fiber into your system will definitely increase HDL levels, according to some recent scientific studies. Foods high in fibers are all kinds of oats, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Make sure that you have at least two servings of fiber per day and this will both help with your regularity and increase HDL levels.
On top of that, it's known that fiber helps to stabilize glucose levels in the blood. As a result, your blood sugar levels will stay within normal ranges and enjoy higher HDL levels at the same time.
Eat More Nuts
Different types of nuts, such as hazelnuts, pecan nuts, almonds, walnuts and so on, are full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Studies done in 2002 and 2004 show that including more nuts into your diet will increase HDL levels in the long run. It's important to be consistent with this habit and incorporate different types of nuts as snacks into your diet.
Yes, there are studies that suggest that laughter can significantly increase HDL levels, particularly in patients with diabetes. That's because laughing more often alleviates stress and puts you in a better mood. As a result, your body will automatically produce good hormones such as HDL and their levels will stay elevated for longer.
Monitor Your Sugar Intake
Another great method to increase your HDL levels is to watch your sugar intake and try to limit or reduce it every day. Multiple studies suggest that high intakes of sugar is associated with a decrease in HDL levels and an increase in LDL levels. You should be particularly mindful of high-fructose corn syrup. Ideally, try to avoid refined sugars and go for natural sources of sugar such as those found in fruit and some vegetables.
Avoid Trans Fat
Although many laws and regulations have been passed that forbid the addition of trans fats to everyday foods, this toxic substance is still present in various products you might find in supermarkets. For example, margarine, some instant coffee products, multiple pastries and bakery products and other foods contain trans fats. This type of substance is known to increase the levels of LDL while lowering HDL ones, so avoid trans fats as much as possible to let your HDL levels return to normal.
Get a Curcumin Supplement
Curcumin is the active ingredient found in turmeric, the famous Indian spice with inflammatory properties. Some recent studies show that taking a curcumin supplement of just 500mg/day can increase HDL levels by 30% in a few months. At the same time, curcumin is known to have powerful anti-inflammatory properties and it might reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer.
Drink More Cranberry Juice
Recent studies show that cranberry juice can increase HDL levels by almost 10% when consumed on a daily basis. This type of berry also has numerous anticancer properties, so if you get the chance to include it in your daily diet, it's highly recommended to do so. Also, other studies done in 2008 show that regular berry consumption can also increase HDL levels.
Eat More Tomatoes
Simple tomatoes can work wonders for your health, as recent studies suggest. Eating more tomatoes, particularly the Roma variety, can increase HDL levels by more than 10% and this type of vegetable can also reduce your blood pressure. Consider incorporating more tomatoes into your diet and eating them in salads or raw. Tomatoes also contain a decent amount of soluble fiber and some studies show that they can protect against prostate cancer too.
Drink Red Wine Responsibly
Scientists have been studying the effects of red wine for decades and have realized that it can offer numerous health benefits when consumed in moderation. For example, resveratrol is a substance found in red wine that has amazing antioxidant properties and can boost the function of your immune system.
At the same time, this substance has been shown to increase HDL levels when consumed in moderation for a period of a few months. Make sure that you drink no more than one glass of red wine per day to reap these benefits and check your HDL levels often to see the improvements.
Check Your HDL Levels Today!
Cholesterol has gotten a bad rep in the last decades, but if you look at it closely, you see that some of it is good for you and you can do something to increase its levels. If you want to find out your HDL levels, you can do that with a simple blood test. You can order such a blood test online, draw a sample at a nearby clinic and get the results mailed back to you in just a few business days.
In most cases, it's recommended to check your HDL levels in correlation with your LDL levels and your triglycerides. This is called a "lipid profile" and it will help your doctor better evaluate your health and come up with a diagnosis. For example, if your HDL levels are relatively good, but your LDL and triglycerides are out of normal ranges, you still need to make lifestyle changes to improve your health.
Go to DiscountedLabs.com today and order your HDL blood test as well as other tests you might need to assess your overall health!