When it comes to keeping your cholesterol in check, the good can definitely outweigh the bad. LDL (low-density lipoprotein) is often referred to as “bad” cholesterol because it sticks to the walls of your arteries. The increased build up puts you at greater risk of heart attack and stroke. HDL (high-density lipoprotein) is called “good” cholesterol because it actually helps reduce risk.
According the American Heart Association, HDL cholesterol of 60 mg/dL or higher provides some protection against heart disease. Here are five ways to increase HDLs.
- Aerobic Exercise. Aim for at least 30-minutes 4-5 times per week
- Lose Weight. Just seven pounds down can increase your HDL by 1 mg/dl
- Eat Heart Smart. Replace polyunsaturated fats with monounsaturated fats, e.g. use olive oil instead of butter
- Quite smoking. It can you can raise your HDL by as much as 15%
- Consider Niacin. Available by prescription and over-the-counter. Consult your doctor before starting niacin therapy.
Learn more about what you can do about cholesterol and raising healthy HDL at the American Heart Association.