Good cholesterol can help prevent heart disease and stroke. Studies show that high levels of high density lipoprotein, the other name for good cholesterol, can help protect you against heart disease. But its association with heart disease may not be as simple as trying to maintain high levels of good cholesterol in the body.
The importance of HDL in the body in correlation to heart disease is based more on its function rather than getting high levels of it. It is important to note that on of HDL’s functions in the body is that it cleans the arteries by removing bad cholesterol, which might clog up the blood vessels over time as they accumulate. It is this function that may be the beneficial for maintaining heart health, rather than simply having high levels of good cholesterol.
It is for this reason that boosting up levels of good cholesterol by using drugs such as niacin and simvastatin has been stopped. Niacin is known to boost up good cholesterol levels especially if it is combined with bad cholesterol lowering statins. But recent research findings discovered that niacin is not very effective in preventing heart disease, even with its good cholesterol boosting properties. People can instead pursue alternative yet simple ways to boost up their good cholesterol levels. Here are some of them.
About 30 minutes of regular aerobic exercise daily can help boost good cholesterol.
Lose Excess Weight
Losing additional pounds can also help boost good cholesterol levels. Losing around 10 pounds of excess weight can increase HDL levels by 1.5 points. Lowering the body mass index to 25 would do just as well.
Lessen Sugar Intake
High sugar content in most processed foods like ice cream, cookies and other similar products contain carbohydrates that can lower HDL levels and increase triglycerides, another type of harmful cholesterol, in the bloodstream.
Be Aware Of Fat Intake
Your fat intake may also affect your cholesterol levels. A high intake of saturated fats and Trans fats can increase the levels of bad cholesterol. Choosing instead to take in more healthy unsaturated fats like those found in flaxseed, olive, canola oils. Eating fatty fish like salmon and mackerel can also help boost up HDL levels.