While there are many advertisements about foods or medications to lower your LDL cholesterol, it is also very important to raise your HDL cholesterol as well. HDL cholesterol helps to break up formations that may develop in your arteries which keeps your blood flowing and your circulatory system functioning properly.
There are ways to build up your HDL cholesterol naturally through eating the right foods and exercising. By doing a little each day to boost your HDL cholesterol, you help improve your overall health and well being while decreasing the effects of LDL cholesterol as well.
HDL Cholesterol-Boosting Foods
There are a number of foods that will help boost your natural HDL cholesterol levels. Generally speaking, these foods are high in mono and polyunsaturated fats which are the kind that actually help your HDL levels.
Fish: Mackerel, Salmon and Tuna – These are known as “oily” fish and contain high amounts of poly-unsaturated fats which include Omega-3. This particularly of fat is very helpful in boosting your levels of HDL cholesterol.
Nuts: Almonds, Cashew, Sunflower, & Walnuts – Nuts are generally high in mono and polyunsaturated fats as well. Even peanut butter has polyunsaturated fats, although it also has other qualities that are not as desirable, so it should be consumed in moderate amounts.
Oils: Canola, Olive and Sunflower – These are good cooking oils that will add much needed mono and polyunsaturated fats to your meals.
In addition, reducing your weight so that you reach normal levels and get rid of the excess fat is a very important factor in helping you increase your HDL levels as well. The foods mentioned above can help you achieve your goals if consumed in moderate amounts along with lean meats, fruits and vegetables.
Of note, the moderate consumption of alcohol also provides a means to raise HDL cholesterol as well. However, the consumption must be of relatively low amounts on a daily basis which means that drinking larger amounts is actually counterproductive when it comes to your health. One or two glasses of red wine and even having a can or bottle of beer may actually improve your HDL levels.
Consistent cardiovascular exercise has been shown to raise HDL cholesterol while also reducing the LDL levels as well. You can engage in weight training which has shown to be quite effective in raising HDL levels, although aerobic exercises will also have the same effect.
However, the most dramatic changes are when you combine eating a healthy diet which includes HDL cholesterol boosting foods with regular exercise. The combination leads to a significant lowering of the LDL cholesterol while the HDL is raised considerably as well.
By combining what you eat with good exercise you can raise your HDL levels considerably over time and help reduce the chances of heart disease. Weight or resistance training which builds the muscles needs to be augmented by eating enough protein to build the muscles while adding the right foods that actually help increase your HDL cholesterol levels.