It is a common notion of people that cholesterol is bad, but rarely do people know that there are both good (HDL) and bad (LDL) cholesterol in our body and we get cholesterol-affected when the level of good cholesterol drops and bad cholesterol level rises. HDL is important as it carries cholesterol to the liver which is used to produce hormones or get excreted. It also prevents damage to the inner walls of the blood vessels that prevent strokes and heart attacks.
However, at times due to various factors, the HDL levels fall leading LDL levels to rise and lead to a number of life-threatening health conditions.
1. Olive Oil
Olive oil is one of the best oils around and has loads of healthy fats. Studies show that olive oil is the only monounsaturated fat that increases the levels of HDL cholesterol and minimizes the risk of heart diseases and heart attacks. It is found that having about 4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil every day for five weeks has substantially increased HDL levels. Since extra virgin olive oil has the highest polyphenol content, it is effective.
2. Low-carb diet
A low-carb diet also is known as a ketogenic diet has a number of health benefits. Besides weight loss and maintaining blood sugar levels, a low-carb diet also increases HDL levels. Concentrate more on having protein diet while cutting back intake of rice, pasta or bread.
3. Exercise everyday
Exercise is one of the best natural remedies to reverse a number of health conditions. Resistance workouts like strength training, high-intensity and aerobic exercises are the best to increase HDL levels. Aim to exercise every day of the week for good results.
Obesity is also another factor that might lead to lowered HDL level. Losing weight through exercise will increase their good cholesterol level.
4. Quit Smoking
If you are a smoker and your LDL level is high with low HDL levels, Say no to smoking from this moment itself. Smoking suppresses the HDL cholesterol level and has negative effects on heart health. Studies have shown that people who have quit smoking had increased HDL level with less inflammation and beneficial effects on heart health.
5. Choose purple on your plate
Purple fruits and vegetables contain anthocyanins, a type of antioxidant that is shown to increase HDL levels. There had been a certain study that showed a group of people who took anthocyanin extract had their good cholesterol level increase by 13.7% at the end of 12 weeks.
Eggplant, purple corn, red cabbage, blueberries, blackberries, and black raspberries are the best natural sources of anthocyanin.
Change your lifestyle and your food habits to improve HDL levels. You can reduce the risk of sudden heart attacks and other life-threatening diseases.