How to increase HDL?

What is HDL cholesterol?

HDL or high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, also called "good" cholesterol, can ease the blood flow and prevent subsequent diseases due to the lipids. HDL removes the bad cholesterol or LDL that can adhere to the inner layer of arteries. A high HDL level reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Still, a low level can increase the risk of related coronary or vascular diseases. A high amount of HDL can control harmful and threatening forms of cholesterol in the blood, but it should be noted that some researches have shown that the high level of HDL is not always proper. A high level of HDL can be noxious in certain people.
HDL cholesterol is a blob that the outer part is a lipoprotein, and there is cholesterol in the center of it. HDL density is more than the other forms of cholesterol particles. It is an essential fat because every cell's stability depends on it. Lipoproteins are helper molecules to transport cholesterol in the bloodstream. Its carriers carry each lipoprotein, and they will act differently from each other. HDL cholesterol can act in a wide variety of ways that will reduce the risk for heart and arteries related diseases.

HDL cholesterol ranges

Why is HDL cholesterol important?

HDL should be examined to diagnose the risk or the developing risk of heart diseases. Lipid profile or lipid panel need to be screened every 4 to 6 years or at least once in adults, but the eldest screening should be done more frequently. The procedure of lipid test as simple as getting a sample of blood and measuring the lipid profile. Consuming the high-fat meals before the test can disturb the usual number of lipids, especially the HDL cholesterol; therefore, fasting about 8 to 12 hours before the examination is required. High LDL levels are associated with the arteries' hardening, but the HDL carries out the duty of removing the increased and excess LDL from the bloodstream. High HDL cholesterol level has an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect that can decrease the risk of heart diseases.

How to increase the HDL cholesterol level?

It has been a misunderstanding that cholesterol is a lousy lipid because it has classifications. By the way, the HDL cholesterol is a good one. There are many ways to increase the number of HDL cholesterol in the blood flow that one of which is a healthy lifestyle. A good and healthy lifestyle truly affect the lipid levels and especially the HDL cholesterol. A specialized diet, modified eating habits, proper and adequate exercise, quitting smoking, etc., can significantly decrease health problems.
Genetic is one of the most critical risk factors for understanding how much HDL cholesterol our body can produce, and the lifestyle besides the genes are cooperating for maintenance of lipid numbers. Studies have shown that the smoking habit can lower the HDL cholesterol numbers, and it will lead to coronary heart problems.
The exercise frequency can impact the balance of physical activity and, subsequently, the balance of lipids and HDL and LDL ratio. Vigorous and severe sports activities are beneficial to boost the HDL cholesterol level.
Every six pounds weight loss is equal to a 1mg/dl increase in HDL cholesterol level. Being overweight and obese have an adverse effect on the proper profile lipids. Therefore, following a planned and special weight loss diet is pragmatic and accessible.
A diet modifies fat intakes, and fats' better choices can be valuable to increase the HDL cholesterol. Healthier fats such as avocado, olive oil, canola oil, salmon, nuts oil and seeds oil are called healthy fats. Avoiding the trans fatty acids that there is in fast foods, baked foods, and kinds of margarine is another approach besides consumption HDL cholesterol. Reducing the refined carb intake can increase the rate of HDL cholesterol. Healthy carbs available in sprouted slices of bread, fruits, and healthy veggies are better choices.

Being moderate in drinks and alcohol is always a healthy recommendation and also in the range of HDL cholesterol. Average consumption for healthy adults has a scheme as one alcoholic serving of alcoholic drinks per day for women of all ages and men over 65 and up to two drinks per day for mean 65 and less.

Low HDL cholesterol level is associated with an increased risk for coronary heart disease. Vitamin B3 or Niacin can treat low HDL cholesterol. Niacin supplementation can raise the level of HDL cholesterol by more than 30 percent. However, it should be under prescription and under the control of your doctor because a high dosage of niacin will lead to unwanted niacin side effects such as flushing, itching, tingling of the skin, skin rashes, nausea and vomiting, headaches, dizziness, allergies, irregular heartbeat, and heart problems, low blood pressure, increased blood sugar, and gout. Although the high dosage of niacin supplements is harmful, the intake of niacin rich foods can prevent damageable supplementations' side effect. The niacin rich foods are turkey, chicken breast, mushrooms, peanuts, green peas, tuna, liver, sunflower seeds, avocado, and beef.

Foods to boost your HDL cholesterol

There are many foods to raise HDL cholesterol and you can eat them in your daily diet. Still, you may wonder how and why a specific food can make some changes in the blood's HDL cholesterol levels.
Soluble fibres can help remove the bad cholesterol from the body and prevent them from entering the blood flow. Beta-glucan is a kind of fibre that can lower LDL cholesterol besides Pectin, available in fruits. Lowering the LDL cholesterol can increase the rate of LDL/HDL cholesterol ratio. Mediterranean diet includes monounsaturated fatty acids like olive oil that can improve the HDL cholesterol profile. There are some polyphenols in fruits and some foods that can prevent the formation of clots and blockages in the arteries. Fatty fishes can reduce the number of triglycerides. Soy proteins include some isoflavones that affect lipid profiles, and there is a significant increase in serum HDL cholesterol concentration. Omega-3 fatty acids will raise the level of HDL, and it will lower the triglycerides.
Extra virgin oil includes some polyphenols that may increase the HDL level.
Other foods to boost your HDL cholesterol include:


♦ Oatmeal
♦ Lentils
♦ Black beans
♦ Chickpeas
♦ Barley
♦ Legumes
♦ Fatty fish
♦ Salmon
♦ Tuna
♦ Mackerel

♦ Herrings
♦ Apples
♦ Avocado
♦ Straw berries
♦ Raspberries
♦ Blackberries
♦ Cranberries
♦ Walnuts
♦ Almonds
♦ Grapes

♦ Cocoa
♦ Dark chocolate
♦ Green tea
♦ Soy products
♦ Leafy greens
♦ Olive oil
♦ Flaxseed oil
♦ Flaxseed
♦ Chia seeds

HDL and type 2 diabetes

Studies have shown that low HDL cholesterol levels are associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. While the association between type 2 diabetes and HDL cholesterol is unknown, increased plasma HDL cholesterol has been suggested as a novel therapeutic option to reduce type 2 diabetes risk. The lifelong low levels of HDL cholesterol-related genes are not associated with the increased risk of type 2 diabetes in the general population. The low levels of HDL per se do not cause type 2 diabetes. Anyway, the HDL increasing as a novel therapeutic option is suggested to treat type 2 diabetes.

The effect of diet on HDL cholesterol

A study has shown that a low-fat diet used for weight loss reduced levels of harmful LDL and reduced the beneficial HDL cholesterol.
Due to the high fibre contents of foods that are put in the DASH diet, this diet can be a good source of a heart-healthy and low LDL cholesterol diet. Therefore, the level of HDL cholesterol can be higher.
The Mediterranean-like diet can be better due to the healthy fats, high and rich fibre foods, and more fruits to improve HDL cholesterol diet.
A low-carb diet or a ketogenic diet can lead to weight loss, and it will modify the profile lipid and their levels. Those with obesity, diabetes, and insulin resistance, can increase HDL cholesterol by following these diets.

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