A fat-like waxy substance present in human body cells is called Cholesterol. The liver creates some cholesterol, and you get some cholesterol from animal food sources like dairy and meat. Some cholesterol is important for the body to function properly, but too many high levels of cholesterol in the blood can affect your heart.
Cholesterol moves from your blood on particular proteins called lipoproteins. High-density lipoprotein is a helpful lipoprotein that covers up cholesterol in the blood and gets back to the liver, where it can be flushed from the body. That is why HDL is often named as good cholesterol. Getting more of it can boost healthy cholesterol levels and help to save your heart. LDL or low-density lipoprotein does not do this, it just develops in your blood, causing high blood cholesterol.
How you will get more HDL? Consuming the right foods and reducing your saturated fat consumption can help to reduce your LDL levels. That can increase your complete ratio of HDL-LDL and lower the risk of heart problems.
A normal blood test can show your cholesterol levels and what changes your need to make in your diet.
Healthy HDL levels are between 40-60 mg/dL, but if you wish to be a heart health superstar, aim to get your number on 60.
Foods to Increase Good Cholesterol
One key to enhancing your HDL-LDL ratio is reducing your consumption of unhealthy fats, like trans fats and saturated. But consuming the right foods can benefit too.
Oats have plenty of soluble fiber, which helps to prevent bad cholesterol absorption in your bloodstream. Some of that soluble fiber comes in the form of beta-glucan, which is a type of fiber tied to reducing LDL cholesterol.
Having 3-grams of beta-glucan daily has been shown to enhance heart health, and you can get around half that amount from 3/4 cup of dry oats.
Beans and legumes
Black beans and lentils chickpeas, legumes, and beans are other best sources of good cholesterol soluble fiber.
According to a review of 26 studies discover that consuming daily a half-cup could help to lower LDL cholesterol by an average of 6.6 mg/dL, enhancing your LDL-HDL ratio.
Consider olive oil for cooking. Olive oil is packed with monounsaturated fats for a healthy heart.
According to Research, a Mediterranean-style diet with rich olive oil can improve HDL cholesterol functions like changing extra cholesterol from the blood vessels of the heart and keeping them open.
Apple is healthy fruit for good cholesterol. This crunchy fruit is a top source of pectin, which can reduce LDL cholesterol to boost your LDL-HDL ratio. Apples provide plenty of polyphenols. According to a 2013 study, polyphenols help to control the arteries from getting inflamed or clogged by stopping LDL cholesterol from oxidizing.
Fish like tuna, salmon, herring, mackerel are brimming with omega-3 fatty acids. These fats do not directly increase HDL, but they can help to lower triglycerides, a type of unhealthy fat in the blood. They enhance your heart health in different ways, like reducing blood pressure and lowering the risk for
harmful blood clots.
The fruit provides more monounsaturated fiber and fats, both of which are key for managing cholesterol levels health. One study discovered that adults with higher body weights who consumed an avocado every day reduced their LDL cholesterol levels more than those who skipped the creamy green fruit.
Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, cranberries, and raspberries are chock full of antioxidant syntheses like phenolic acids, anthocyanins, tannins, stilbenes, carotenoids, which are linked to reduced inflammation and healthier cholesterol levels.
Nuts like walnuts are the best source of polyunsaturated fats. Heart-healthy fats are important for improving your total cholesterol ratio. If you don’t like fish, the good news is walnuts provide omega-3 fatty acids.
Help yourself to 2-3 handfuls a day- according to one 2010 review of 25 studies, eating that quantity could help to lower LDL cholesterol by as much as 10 points.
Like olive oil and avocado, almonds are the best source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats that can enhance your complete cholesterol ratio.
They also have high phytosterols, plant synthesis that is structurally the same as cholesterol and helps to block cholesterol from being absorbed in the gut. You will get similar benefits whether you eat almond butter or whole almonds.
The chewy whole grain is the best way to get beta-glucan, the soluble fiber that can reduce your LDL cholesterol.
Try it as an alternative to oats for a healthy breakfast porridge, add in a salad, or include to give extra veggie soups or beans.
These small juicy fruits support heart health. They contain antioxidant synthesis and the heart-healthy fiber pectin, which help to get HDL cholesterol up and LDL cholesterol lower.
Dark chocolate and Cocoa
Both dark chocolate and cocoa consist of synthesis that can reduce bad cholesterol and help you get a healthy total cholesterol level. It seems that both foods help prevent LDL cholesterol from getting oxidizing, which can increase heart disease. The key to getting the benefits is healthily enjoying cocoa and dark chocolate.
According to a recent review of 46 studies, consuming around 25gm of soy protein every day can reduce LDL cholesterol levels by 3-4%. Just remember that not all soy foods are equal. You will do the best for your heart by choosing low processed soy products, tempeh, choose tofu, or miso over packaged soy burgers or deli slices.
Instead of getting a surgery hot chocolate and whipped cream, mix cocoa powder into your morning oatmeal and yogurt. If choosing dark chocolate, ensure the cocoa content is 755 and stick to a one-ounce portion.
You already knew kale as a superfood, but here is another reason to add to the shopping list: Dark leafy can bind to bile acids, which could help the body to flush out more bad cholesterol and get your HDL-LDL ratio in a healthier place. This benefit might come from lutein, an antioxidant that is been shown to prevent cholesterol from sticking to artery walls.
It consists of plenty of catechins, belongs to the antioxidants family that has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol concentration. And the more you consume, the greater the benefits seem to be. According to a long-term study discovered adults who sipped 5 cups of green tea every day were 26% lower than non-tea drinkers to die of a stroke or heart attack.
Combining A Low Cholesterol Diet
When it comes to investing money, professionals guide creating a portfolio of various investments in place of keeping all your eggs in one basket. The same holds for consuming your way to decreasing cholesterol. Including many foods to reduce cholesterol in additional ways should work better than adding on 1-2.
A largely vegetarian dietary portfolio of cholesterol-reducing foods considerably reduces LDL, blood pressure, and triglycerides. The key dietary components are more vegetables and fruits, whole grains instead of highly refined ones, and plant-based protein. Include margarine containing rich plant sterols, barley, oats, okra, psyllium, and eggplant, all rich with soluble fiber like whole almonds, soy protein, and soluble fiber.
Of course, shifting to a cholesterol-reducing diet takes extra attention than popping an everyday statin. It means spreading the different foods you commonly keep in your shopping cart and getting used to new flavors and textures. It is a natural way to reduce cholesterol, and it prevents the risk of muscle problems and different side effects that plague some people who consume statins. A diet that is heavy on vegetables, fruits, nuts, and beans is good for the body in ways beyond reducing cholesterol. It keeps blood pressure in check. It helps the arteries stay responsive and flexible. This diet is good for digestive health and bone for mental health vision.
Improve Your Cholesterol Levels with Lifestyle Tips
Eating sufficient foods can help to lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol, but it’s not the only thing you can be doing to reach your normal levels.
Here are some tips to follow:
Everyday workout is necessary for your complete health and can even raise HDL source The-Centers-for-Disease-Control-and-Prevention (CDC) suggest that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderately intense physical activity every week
Lose excess weight
Dietary changes and rising activity levels can help in getting and maintaining an optimal weight. In some examples, lowering any excess weight can help raise HDL and reduce LDL cholesterol levels.
Analyze your genetics
Sometimes, despite all your efforts, you can still do some changes in managing healthy cholesterol levels. Genetics can play a key role in your cholesterol levels, so speak with your physician about personal risks and what you can do to tell them.
Bile acid sequestrants
These medications have been indicated to reduce LDL cholesterol. Some people may cause bile acid resins.
Can High HDL Cholesterol Levels be Healthy?
Can HDL be too high?
High-density lipoprotein cholesterol is often referred to as good cholesterol due to removing other harmful types of cholesterol from the blood. It is usually said that higher HDL levels are better. In most people, it is true. But some research shows that high HDL can be harmful in some people.
Recommended HDL Range
Generally, physicians recommend an HDL level of 60 mg every deciliter of blood or higher. HDL that falls within the range of 40-9 mg/dl is normal but could be more. Getting HDL under 40 mg/dL raises your risk of increasing heart problems.
The Recommended Cholesterol Levels by Age
Cholesterol In Adults
The total cholesterol level is the complete amount of cholesterol present in the blood. It consists of:
high-density lipoproteins (HDLs)
low-density lipoproteins (LDLs)
LDL is bad cholesterol because it blocks your blood vessels and raises the heart disease risk. HDL is good cholesterol as it helps to save the heart from disease. Having high HDL cholesterol is better.
Total cholesterol also has a triglyceride count. These are different fat types that can accumulate in the body and are considered block-building cholesterol. High triglycerides levels and low HDL levels increase the risk of heart problems.
According to American-Heart-Association suggest that all adults get their cholesterol checked every 4-6 years, from age of 20, which is when cholesterol levels can begin to rise.
As age increases, cholesterol levels tend to increase. Male is commonly at a higher risk than females for higher cholesterol. However, a female’s risk goes up after she goes into menopause. For those with high cholesterol and different cardia risk factors, like diabetes, more frequent testing is suggested.
Cholesterol chart for adults
According to the 2018 guidelines on blood cholesterol management in the Journal-of-the-American-College-of-Cardiology, these are the borderline, and high measurements for adults people. All values are in mg/dL and are based on the measurement of fasting.
Cholesterol levels in Male vs. Female
Commonly, guidelines are the same for males and females over the age of 20, though they change when it comes to HDL cholesterol, as given above. Females should aim for more HDL cholesterol levels.
Cholesterol In Children
Kids who are physically active and consume a nutrient-dense diet, are not overweight and do not get a family history of high cholesterol are at a reduced risk for getting high cholesterol.
Present guidelines suggest that all kids get their cholesterol checked between ages 9-11 years, and then again between ages 17-21 years.
Children with extra risk factors, such as getting diabetes, family history, cholesterol, or obesity should be checked between ages 2-8 years and again between ages of 12-16 years.
Cholesterol chart for children
According to the JACC, the following are the suggested cholesterol levels for children:
All values are in mg/dL:
High HDL Cholesterol Issues
According to research by the journal Thrombosis, Arteriosclerosis, and Vascular Biology discovered that people with high levels of C-reactive proteins after getting a heart attack may process high HDL negatively. C-reactive proteins are created by the liver in response to high levels of body inflammation. Instead of acting as a protective factor in heart health, the HDL levels in these people could raise the risk of heart problems.
While your levels may remain in the normal range, your body may process HDL differently if you get this type of inflammation. The study looked at blood drawn from 767 non-diabetic people who had recently had a heart attack.
They utilized the data to forecast outcomes for the study participants and discovered that those with high levels of C-reactive proteins and HDL were a specific high-risk group for heart disease.
Ultimately, more research needs to be performed to determine the risks of high HDL in this specific group of people.
Other medications and conditions linked with high HDL
High HDL is also connected to different conditions, including:
- inflammatory diseases
- thyroid disorders
- alcohol consumption
Sometimes cholesterol managing medication can also increase HDL levels. These are commonly taken to reduce LDL, total cholesterol levels. Medication types that have been connected to high HDL levels include:
bile acid sequestrants, which lower fat absorption from the foods you consume
- cholesterol absorption inhibitors
- omega-3 fatty acid supplements, which reduce triglycerides in the blood, but also raise HDL cholesterol
- statins, which block the liver from getting more cholesterol
- Increasing HDL levels is commonly a positive side effect in people who get low HDL levels as in most cases, it lowers their risk of growing cardiovascular disease.
Testing HDL levels
A blood test can tell your HDL levels. Additionally, to an HDL test, your physician will also look for LDL and triglyceride levels as a part of a complete lipid profile. Your complete levels will also be measured. Results commonly take some days to process.
Some factors can affect the results of your test. Talk to your physician:
fasting before the test
more stress than usual
recent heart attack
All these factors can cause inaccurate measurements of HDL in the blood. You may require to wait many weeks before doing a cholesterol test to ensure the result are correct.
Before you start dramatically changing your diet or consuming supplements, take physician advice. Food is a first-line, all-natural way to provide more heart-healthy vitamins, nutrients, and minerals to your body. However, some foods and supplements are less healthful because of their possible interactions with prescriptions and medications.
So, before you start adding up on these supplements and foods to promote your HDL and reduce LDL numbers, talk with a doctor. Together, you can successful in strategies, positive ways to have cholesterol numbers headed in the right direction.