HDL (high density lipoproteins) are the opposite. HDL acts like a sponge, attaching to LDL particles and carrying them through the blood stream, preventing them from attaching to artery walls. When it comes to HDL, the higher the better! Here are 5 things to reduce LDL and increase HDL.
1. Avoid fried foods: Most of the foods fried in oils contain saturated fat that can increase LDL. If you fry, use oils high in unsaturated fats like canola, olive and flaxseed oil.
2. Exercise for 30 minutes or more each day: Exercise, especially aerobic, has positive effects on HDL and LDL. So get moving for at least 30 minutes to improve your HDL and LDL numbers.
3. Eat more fiber: Fiber helps the intestines to break down food, but it also helps remove LDL from our blood. Increase foods such as kale, apples, bran muffins, etc.
4. Reduce simple carbohydrates: White bread, sugar and other simple carbs can wreak havoc on cholesterol levels. Simple carbohydrates have recently been shown top increase LDL and lower HDL. Avoid sugar and simple carbohydrates as much as you can.
5. Having a daily serving of alcohol: You may have heard about the French Paradox. French people have healthy cholesterol levels despite diets rich in saturated fats. Initially, red wine was given credit for keeping cholesterol levels low, but in reality any alcohol will increase HDL and lower LDL. The key is moderation – no more than 2 servings of alcohol a day.
There’s more to cholesterol than your total cholesterol. It is important that you understand the additional components of your cholesterol profile.
Maintaining high HDL and low LDL can help minimize the risk of heart attack and stroke. When it comes to levels, the goal and HDL of 60 or higher, and remember: the more the better!