How Do I Boost My Hdl Cholesterol?

Question

Asked by SAIF

How Do I Boost My Hdl Cholesterol?

My HDL (good) cholesterol tested below 40mg. What can I do to boost my HDL levels?

Answer

You're right that you want your HDL to be at least above 40 mg/dL and ideally above 60, so it's great that you are staying on top of this.   You have several options to boost your HDL back up.

For the most impact, increase your physical activity, especially aerobic activities, such as walking, jogging, biking, etc.   For the best results, be active 5 or more days each week for a minimum of 30 minutes to raise your HDL levels.

In addition to being more active, limit unhealthy fats.   Look at your saturated fat and trans fat intake and see where you can make cuts.     Your total fat intake for the day should be limited to 30% of your daily calories.   Of this 30%, only 10% should be from saturated fat and ideally zero from trans fats.   To attain these levels you'll need to select healthy choices when dining out, read food labels, select healthy fats when cooking, select lean cuts of meat, etc.

Adding heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids would be a benefit.   Here are three articles where you can learn more about using omega 3's.

Get a Grip on Fatty Acids

Top 5 Omega 3 Sources to Lower Cholesterol

Omega 3's - How much to lower cholesterol?

Alcohol plays a role in raising HDL levels also.   I'm not a big advocate of using alcohol to raise HDL, so if you already consume alcohol 1-2 drinks per day can raise levels.   More than 1-2 drinks per day will increase your health problems.   If you do not drink, do not start.

Answered by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN