Cholesterol - Specifically High Density Lipoproteins or HDL
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Cholesterol – Specifically High Density Lipoproteins

Cholesterol – Specifically High Density Lipoproteins

What is HDL Cholesterol

HDL (AKA ‘H’ for Happy) carries about 1/3-1/4 of the blood cholesterol. Higher levels seem to protect against cardiovascular disease.  HDL levels less than 40 mg/dl appear to be a risk factor for heart disease.  Scientists suggest that HDL cholesterol carries cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver where it can be excreted by the body.  In addition, some experts believe that HDL removes excess cholesterol from plaque deposits on the artery walls.  Ideal blood levels should exceed 40 mg/dL for men and 50 mg/dL for women.  With HDL levels, the higher the better!

Ways to increase HDL levels

Ways to increase HDL:

1) exercise,

2) stop smoking (smoking lowers HDL levels),

3) replace saturated and trans fat with Omega-3 fatty acids such as wild caught salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines and albacore tuna. Although not as well absorb by the body, plant-based sources include: Canola oil, flaxseed, walnuts, spinach, and

4) drink alcohol in moderation (1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men – remember do not save drinks for the weekend!). Alcohol consumption has been associated with other health dangers including high blood pressure, obesity, stroke and alcoholism.


Know your numbers! Get bloodwork annually and discuss results with your physician!