Keeping your cholesterol numbers as low as possible is another positive biomarker. Equally important though is to keep your HDL (high density) cholesterol as high as possible. That seems like a contradiction, but research shows the HDL cholesterol earns the name “good cholesterol” because of its ability to help protect against its LDL (“bad cholesterol”) counterpart. It does this by cleaning up excess LDL and taking it back to the liver for elimination. It is now known that when it comes to healthy cholesterol levels, just lowering LDL is not enough. You need HDL too. Research shows that the higher your HDL, the lower your LDL.
According to the world-leading Mayo Clinic, a few smart diet and lifestyle changes can boost your “good” HDL.Their suggestions:
- Lose weight – research shows that for every 6 pounds (2.7 kg) you lose, you can increase your HDL by at least 1mg/dl.
- Get active. Simple activities that raise your heart rate (walking, running, swimming, climbing stairs, gardening) can boost HDL 5% or more in just 60 days.
- Avoid foods that contain processed, industrialised, and saturated and trans fats.
- Increase your intake of whole grains, plant sterols, tree nuts (walnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts).
- Increase your omega-3 fatty acid intake from fish and fish oil supplements.
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