High levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) can lead to heart attacks or strokes if left unchecked.
Good cholesterol (HDL or High-Density Lipoprotein) on the other hand is an ally. HDL is the good guy of cholesterol and helps clear your piping by scrubbing the inside walls of your veins and arteries.
So how can you increase the level of your good cholesterol? Here are some tips that help you do just that.
Eat Better: You have to commit to eating healthier foods and limiting junk food. Eat smarter. Avoid eating transfatty acids which raises our levels of bad cholesterol and lowers levels of good cholesterol. Transfatty acids are present in margarines and most vegetable oils that are not cold pressed or extra virgin. Also embrace a low carbohydrate diet as study shows that it can potentially increase HDL levels.
Exercise: You can increase your HDL levels by exercises that force your heart rate up for a period of thirty or more minutes. Aerobic exercises which also help you to lose fat, is believed to contribute to higher LDL levels. And you do not have to overstretch yourself. Some experts claim that it is the duration of exertion and not its intensity that is important in improving cholesterol levels.
Give Up Tobacco: If you are a smoker and serious about maintaining the HDL level in your body, quit the habit. Cigarettes contain thousands of toxic chemicals, many of which can cause direct damage to the linings of our arteries. This makes it more likely for fatty deposits and other debris to accumulate. Our body uses HDL or good cholesterol to remove the clogging and in the process lowers the level of HDL cholesterol.
Dietary Supplement: Studies done on dietary supplement, Policisanol, shows that it effective at lowering LDL and increasing HDL cholesterol.
Cholesterol Med: Cholesterol lowering drugs such as nicotinic acid agents and fibrates can lower LDL and Triglycerides while increasing HDL levels. However most of them have side effects and you should know about them before taking this option.
Drink Moderately: An alcoholic beverage a day may help to keep the doctor away. Scientists believe that any alcohol taken in moderation can have beneficial properties on the heart
Remove Stress: While the jury is out on whether stress affects cholesterol, many studies show a correlation between stress and heart disease. Since we know that stress is a negative, you should remove it from your life. Slow down and spend more time with friends and family and worry less.
Get More Sleep: Make sure you get a solid eight hours every night to allow your body to repair itself from the ravages of the day.