Raising Hdl Cholesterols

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Just as too much LDL poses a severe health risk, specifically heart disease, too little HDL poses one almost as grave. HDL cholesterols are outnumbered essentially 3 to 1 by LDL cholesterols. One approach to raising HDL cholesterols to keep the ratio manageable is to lower LDL cholesterols. But let's talk about raising HDL directly.

What To Do About Raising HDL Cholesterols

Very much toward the top of the list is tobacco. The antismoking rage continues in full force. But if you smoke and you want or need to be raising HDL cholesterols the first thing to do is stop. The irony is the tangible advantage smokers have over nonsmokers is that smokers can raise their HDL just by stopping.

Interestingly in this age of eliminating nonnutritive "pollutants" from the body, studies demonstrate that regular and moderate intake of red wine—one or two drinks at a maximum several days a week—might be helpful in raising HDL cholesterols. Losing weight, of course, clearly reduces the levels of LDL cholesterols because less fat is flowing into the body, less fat is circulating through the body, and there is thus less fat to accumulate as plaque in the arteries. But studies show that at the same time, and separately, losing weight also raises HDL levels.

A few dietary changes are effective in raising HDL cholesterols. One, another double win scenario for lowering LDL and raising HDL, is soluble plant fiber. Another is to increase monounsaturated fats. These include canola, avocado and olive oils. And peanut butter. Studies also indicate that minimizing simple carbohydrates—sugar, flour, potatoes, white rice—will bring a sharp hike to HDL levels.

Medications effective in raising HDL cholesterols include, on the synthetic front, niacin, gemfibrozil and statins. Your doctor is best qualified to determine if medication is appropriate, and if so, which.


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