Cholesterol numbers can indicate your risk for heart disease and stroke, and a low HDL is certainly a contributing factor. HDL or high density lipoprotein is a “good” type of cholesterol with heart-protective benefits. The higher your HDL, the better. Lifestyle changes can have a great impact on improving your HDL. Focus on the things you can change, like:
- Quit smoking. Quitting can increase your HDL by up to 10 percent, in addition to improving your overall heart and lung health.
- Get active and stay active. Increasing exercise can improve your HDL, help you lose weight, and lower your bad cholesterol too.
- Choose the right fats. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats tend to improve HDL's anti-inflammatory abilities. Nuts, fish and other foods containing omega-3 fatty acids are good choices for improving your LDL to HDL cholesterol ratio.
- Increase your fiber intake. Soluble fiber in foods like oatmeal, bran, and beans will act like a broom, sweeping out the bad cholesterol and raising your HDL.
Lifestyle changes can improve your HDL. Even small changes can get you to “Feel Better and Live Longer!”.
Jody Anderson, RN, CHC
Succeed Health, LLC- Algoma