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How to Raise Good Cholesterol – 7 Steps to a Longer Life
By now you probably know that in order to avoid heart disease, you need to reduce your cholesterol levels. But did you know that not all cholesterol is bad? In fact, there are two types of cholesterol out there – the LDL (bad) cholesterol and the HDL (good) cholesterol. The good cholesterol levels actually need to be increased in order to have a healthy-functioning body. This HDL cholesterol actually cleanses blood vessels and gets rid of excess LDL, which minimizes the risk of heart disease in the long run. The obvious question arises here is how to raise good cholesterol. Well, its actually pretty simple. Here are the seven main ways:
1) Regular exercise. This may not be something you wanted to hear, but regular exercise is crucial in raising good cholesterol levels. Research has found that people who do at least two hours of exercise a week demonstrated modest cholesterol increases, which translated as a 5 percent reduction in the risk of heart disease. If an exercise session is at least 30 minutes long, it is most effective in raising good cholesterol.
2) Lose weight. In addition to regular exercise, you should strive to shed any of that excess weight. This one ties in with the previous one, and could be done with low intensity exercise like simply walking for at least 30 minutes a day. Being overweight not only decreases good cholesterol levels, but increases bad ones, so strive for weight loss.
3) Quit smoking. If you smoke, this is another of hundreds of reasons to quit. Smoking has been shown to reduce HDL good cholesterol levels, so this nasty habit needs to go.
4) Consume good fats. The common myth about fats is that they are all bad (much like the myth about all cholesterol). In fact, only saturated and trans fats are bad for you. If you consume more monunsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, it will help you raise your good cholesterol levels. You can get these fats from nuts, seeds, avocados, olives and olive oil, fish, and raw tofu.
5) Drink cranberry juice. This is may strike you as a surprise in how to raise good cholesterol. Research has shown that drinking two cups of cranberry juice per day has led to an 8 percent increase of HDL good cholesterol.
6) Try niacin. Niacin is found in vitamin B3, and has shown to increase good cholesterol levels by 15-35 percent. You should consult your doctor before consuming niacin, as it has caused an increase of blood sugar in some people. Natural sources of niacin include lean meats, dairy products, fish, poultry, and nuts.
7) Drink moderate amounts of alcohol. Yes, alcohol! Research has shown that drinking one ounce of alcohol daily increases good cholesterol by four mg/dl. This amount is contained in two glasses of wine or two beers.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Cholesterol Diets23 Mar 2011