If you have been closely watching your heart health, you must know that there is a thing called good cholesterol just as there is bad cholesterol. Scientifically referred to as high density lipoprotein or HDL, the good cholesterol, in stark contrast to the bad cholesterol, helps to prevent heart diseases by sweeping clean the arterial walls of bad cholesterol and carrying it back to the liver to be metabolized.
It follows then that when you have your good cholesterol at high levels, you’ll have less of the bad cholesterol which as you know eventually forms plaque and clogs the arteries. Keeping the bad cholesterol down is good, but working on increasing your good cholesterol at the same time is even better.
So exactly how do you increase the good cholesterol? If you wish to increase your good cholesterol, you would have to observe the following dos and don’ts:
First, the Dos:
1. Do watch your weight. A healthy weight is key to increasing good cholesterol levels. If you are overweight, then, take means to trim down, but never go on fad diets to lose weight.
2. Do exercise. Exercising on a regular basis does wonders to your metabolism while of course helping you keep the pounds off at the same time. You don’t have to do anything strenuous, really. Thirty minutes of brisk walking, jogging, or running around the park or in your neighborhood every day would be ideal. If it’s too cold outside to do any of these, try working out indoors. A treadmill makes for a wise investment especially during the winter season when the climate makes it impossible for you to enjoy the great outdoors.
3. Do take on a healthy diet. Make sure that your diet consists of sources of Omega-3 fatty acids or the good fats, such as avocado, fish, almonds, and olive oil, and don’t forget fiber, soluble fiber, that is. Get more greens in your food as well.
Now, the Don’ts:
1. Don’t smoke. Smoking contributes to poor heart health. It impedes blood circulation, thereby depriving cells of essential nutrients.
2. Don’t drink alcoholic beverages. Besides being loaded with calories that cause weight gain, alcoholic drinks are toxic to the body to a certain extent. By doing away with beer, vodka, and the like, you will be doing your heart a lot of favor.
3. Don’t eat foods cooked in partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. Vegetable oil has been found to increase bad cholesterol levels so you should avoid this if you are trying to increase your good cholesterol.
So, you see, it is not at all difficult to raise your good cholesterol levels, but you must have the commitment and the drive to make these essential lifestyle changes.