Cholesterol Advice

A Complete Guide on HDL Cholesterol

HDL, also known as High Density Lipoprotein carries one-fourth to one-third of the cholesterol in the body.

What is HDL?
HDL is known as the good cholesterol  that carries the cholesterol present in the arteries, back to the liver for excretion or re-utilization. Having appropriate levels of HDL cholesterol also reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases like heart attack and stroke. Also, the cholesterol present in HDL is said to be good for heart's health in contrast to the LDL cholesterol that is bad for heart's health.

The higher are your HDL levels, the less would be your LDL levels. It means, your good cholesterol levels will counter the bad ones.

Test your HDL levels
You could test your HDL cholesterol levels with the help of a simple blood test. A sample of your blood would be taken which would be then tested in a laboratory to know about the level of HDL cholesterol in your blood.

So what does your HDL cholesterol levels mean ?

* Less than 40 mg/ dL - Risky for men
* Less than 50 mg/ dL - Risky for women
* 40 mg/ dL to 50 mg/ dL - Desirable for men
* 50 mg/ dL to 60 mg/dL -  Desirable for women
* 60 mg/ dL or above - Healthy

Therefore, ideally HDL cholesterol level should be more than 50 mg/ dL.

How to increase HDL cholesterol?
The first step towards increasing HDL cholesterol is making a few changes in your lifestyle. A healthy routine coupled with a balanced diet is the best way to increase the levels of HDL cholesterol. Also, you need to stay away from cigarettes, and limit the intake of alcohol to raise your HDL levels.

Adopt a regular exercise schedule and lose all your excessive weight. All this would help you increase your HDL levels considerably. Foods containing Omega 3 fatty acids are known to work wonders to raise the levels of HDL cholesterol. Walnuts, garlic, soy foods, canola oil and green leafy vegetables are known to raise HDL levels considerably.

For those who may have very low levels of HDL or very high levels of LDL that can not be administered with the help of lifestyle changes only, taking medical help and medications is the right option.

Having the right HDL cholesterol levels is very important to avoid the various cardiovascular diseases. HDL is like the garbage picker of the body that picks up all the excessive cholesterol that may otherwise end up blocking up your arteries and resulting in to various health problems.