How to Increase HDL

Heart diseases are a common cause of death in developed countries. Every year, millions of people fall prey to these diseases. Lack of exercises, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle are some common causes of heart diseases. Cholesterol is often associated with cardiac arrest. However, one needs to understand that cholesterol is not entirely bad for your heart. In fact, the type of cholesterol called HDL, actually protects your heart from diseases. It is the LDL or bad cholesterol that you should be looking for. Although, HDL is naturally processed by the body, there are number of ways in which you can stimulate the HDL production in your body. So how to increase HDL without medication? Let us find out. More on normal HDL levels.

Six Natural Ways to Increase HDL

Modern lifestyle has made us into slaves of late nights, parties, working lunches and a sedentary lifestyle. Lack of exercise and convenience foods that give no importance to health has become the bane of our society leading to a situation where consequent heart diseases have become one of the largest causes of death in developed countries. And high levels of cholesterol are known to be the single largest cause of heart attacks and heart diseases.

But before you start to try and reduce your cholesterol you need to know that there are two kinds – high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL). And while LDL is bad cholesterol that you should be looking at reducing, HDL is actually good cholesterol that helps the body control the level of LDL. HDL is processed by the body naturally but there are various ways in which you can induce higher levels of production. And that too in a natural way without any side effects. Here are the top 6 ways in which you can increase your HDL naturally.

  1. Lose Excess Weight – Obesity is the most common cause of high cholesterol and heart diseases. People who have fat accumulated in various parts of the body need to wake up and realize the situation before it is too late. Those who are obese and have a history of heart conditions in the family are at a much higher risk too. Weight loss can be accomplished by exercise and by controlling diet. In fact, there are a large number of side benefits of losing weight other than just the increase in HDL production that you will bring about.
  2. Exercise Regularly – Aerobic exercises that increase the heart rate like walking, jogging, cycling and playing an outdoor sport help in stimulating HDL production. Around 20 to 30 minutes of such exercise for about 3 to 4 times a week should suffice to start with. When you start doing this regularly and see the benefits of exercising, you would want to do more of it anyway.
  3. Quit Smoking Completely – There are no benefits associated with smoking whatsoever. In fact there are a number of toxins that have been detected in nicotine and some of these are cancerous too. The proof of this step is easy and you should see a decent rise in your HDL levels as you quit smoking.
  4. Consume Alcohol in Moderation – You will hear many people who consume alcohol state that alcohol is good for the heart. What they fail to state is that it is good for the heart only if consumed in moderation. One of two drinks a day is what doctors prescribe their patients to help in increasing HDL production. Anything more than this and you can damage your heart health.
  5. Avoid Foods that Reduce Good Cholesterol – Trans-fatty acids, saturated fats and refined sugars reduce the level of good cholesterol that you have in your body. In addition to that they also increase the levels of bad cholesterol. Avoid all foods that contain ‘partially hydrogenated vegetable oils’ too. It can get touch to avoid all foods that contain these since some of the most delicious foods contain these ingredients but it pays to try and keep the quantity to a minimum. Stay away from sodas, candies, commercially baked products and the like.
  6. Consume Foods that Help Increase HDL – This is probably the most important aspect of increasing HDL levels. There are specific foods that help in stimulating HDL production. These include avocados, canola oil, olive oil, oats, fibrous food like fresh fruits and vegetables. Foods that contain omega 3 fatty acids like tuna and fish oil are also known to be good for HDL. It is also said that consuming cranberry juice also helps in increasing HDL levels.

Each of the methods mentioned above contribute towards the overall increase in HDL levels. However, if you can ensure that you exercise every day and control your diet you should be able to maintain good HDL cholesterol levels.

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