If you have had a cholestrol test done by your medical adviser and been diagnosed with high cholestrol then not only will you need to know how to lower your cholestrol, but you will also need to know how to raise good cholestrol.
What is good cholestrol?
To know how to raise good cholestrol you first need to know what it is. cholestrol can be split into two types – Bad cholestrol, also known as LDL or Low Density Lipoprotein, and Good cholestrol which is also known as HDL or High Density Lipoprotein. Bad cholestrol consists of a greater amount of fat than protein whereas good cholestrol consists of a greater amount of protein and less fat.
Bad cholestrol is bad for us because, if we have an excess of it in our bodies, it builds up on the walls of our arteries which narrows them and reduces blood flow to the vital organs. However, experts tell us that good cholestrol is good for us because it enables the body to take excess bad cholestrol out of the arteries and to the liver. The liver then deals with the bad cholestrol and excretes it out of the body. Good HDL cholestrol is therefore beneficial to us because it protects us from atherosclerosis, narrowing of the arteries, and heart disease.
How to raise good cholestrol levels
Your advisor will be able to give you advice, information and tips on how to raise levels of good cholestrol in the blood. Use your doctor’s expertise. It is especially important to know how to raise good cholestrol and to lower bad cholestrol if you have any of the following risk factors:-
– You are diabetic
– You have a family history of heart disease or high cholestrol
– You have heart disease or have had heart surgery
– You smoke
– You have high blood pressure
How to raise good cholestrol by making small changes:-
– Aerobic or cardiovascular exercise done at least 3 times a week for about 20-30 minutes. This will help lower bad cholestrol and raise good cholestrol.
– The use of cholestrol lowering products like those containing plant sterols.
– Losing weight – following a low calorie diet low in saturated fats.
– Eating more fibre – Replace your normal carbohydrates like white bread, pasta and rice with wholegrain or wholemeal carb foods. This exchange will benefit you in many ways. Eat more fruit and vegetables, oats, beans and pulses. A great tip for using more pulses and beans is to put a handful in casserole or soup recipes.
– Eat oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, herrings, fresh tuna and sardines. Oily fish is a good source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids which help to increase good HDL levels.
– Consume seed oils such as flax seed oil and linseed oils, seeds such as pumpkin seeds and nuts like walnuts. These are all sources of Omega 3 Fatty Acids.
– Use polyunsaturated spreads and use olive oil (a mono-unsaturated fat) to cook with. These types of fats increase good cholestrol.
Your doctor will also be able to advise you on how to raise good cholestrol with medication if dietary changes and natural methods do not work.