Nearly five out of ten Americans suffer from cardiovascular problems like strokes and heart attacks. This is often attributed to high levels of cholesterol that is harmful to the human body. However, not all cholesterols are harmful, as HDL cholesterol has been established to be very essential to the body. Thus, you need to know how to increase HDL in your system while lowering the levels of the harmful LDL cholesterol.
Understanding the basics
So what are LDL and HDL cholesterols? First off, cholesterol has the ability to reach all the organs and parts of the body where it is needed. It is transported through the blood’s circulatory system and both LDL and HDL are referred to as lipoproteins. These two types of cholesterols are referred to as low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Low density lipoproteins contain more fats while high density lipoproteins contain less fats. LDL cholesterol is harmful to the body because it carries excess fats from the liver through your blood system, depositing them in the cells thus resulting in accumulation of body fat. This fat settles around the mid section where more enzymes are present hence referred to as “live fat.” HDL cholesterol on the other hand returns excess fat that is not needed by your body back to the liver where it is broken down, hence referred to as “good” cholesterol because it eliminates bad fats instead of accumulating it within your heart and blood arteries. This explains why you need to figure out how to decrease LDL cholesterol while increasing the level of HDL in your body.
So, where does cholesterol come from?
Cholesterol is a natural substance that is produced in the liver and is vital for certain functions within your body. The liver produces up to 80% of the body’s cholesterol, which is adequate to meet the requirements of your body. However, the cholesterol levels in your body starts to rise when external factors begins facilitating more cholesterol production from your liver. One of the greatest facilitators of high cholesterol levels is your diet and lifestyle.
So what is the role of HDL cholesterol in the body?
As already mentioned, HDL cholesterol is useful to the body while LDL is harmful. HDL works towards restricting the production of LDL cholesterol thus moving it from the arteries to the liver for elimination from the body. This reduces the chances of blockage in your arteries and hence the risk of strokes and other cardiovascular troubles. This is why you need to learn how to increase HDL cholesterol in your system while suppressing the level of LDL cholesterol. 40mg/dl is the recommended levels of HDL that you should maintain at all times. An HDL level above 60mg/dl can increase your chances of having a heart attack. At the same time, if your HDL levels drops below the minimum levels, then there will be no HDL to remove excess LDL from your system. This can increase your chances of developing cardiovascular problems. Now you know why you need to learn how to increase HDL cholesterol in your system.
How to increase HDL without medication
You can learn how to naturally increase HDL levels in your system without using any medication. However, you have to know that any natural route takes time hence you need to be patient and focused. Here are some of the best ways to increase HDL naturally.
1. Quit smoking
Smoking is a habit that can result in addiction because of the nicotine that is contained in cigarettes. Apart from damaging your lungs, it can also lower your HDL levels hence hindering your body’s ability to lower LDL levels naturally. Thus, if you truly want to live a healthy life, free of the traumas of high cholesterol levels, then you need to quit smoking right away.
You need to be physically active if you want to battle cholesterol and live a healthy life. Regular exercise can help improve your flexibility, brain capacity and circulation while strengthening your muscles and bones. In addition, it can also help you raise your HDL levels naturally. According to studies, two months of regular aerobic exercises can help you raise your HDL levels by up to 5 percent. Some of the exercises that you can consider include biking, swimming, dancing, running, elliptical training, cardio kickboxing and fast paced walking.
3. Reduce your weight
If you are overweight then you need to figure out how to shed some pounds. Excess weight can increase the risk factors of developing chronic cardiovascular conditions. Besides, it can also lower your HDL levels. To start off, you need to reduce your daily intake by up to 500 calories. This can help you lose one pound per week since it takes 3500 calories to shed one pound.
4. Avoid unhealthy foods
Ensure that you eliminate foods that are rich in saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol from your diet. For instance, deep fried foods, processed meats, whole-fat dairy products, process foods as well as foods that are rich in simple sugars should all be off your diet.
5. Consume lots of healthy foods
In place of processed and junk foods, be sure to take a lot of fibers. Apart from lowering the levels of HDL in your system, soluble fibers will also boost the production of HDL cholesterol. As part of healthy eating, be sure to take foods like oatmeal, whole grains and a lot of fruits and vegetables.
HDL works towards removing the harmful LDL cholesterol from your arteries to the liver for decomposition. By learning how to increase HDL level in your system, you will effectively empower your body to get rid of excess LDL cholesterol in order to have a healthy heart. All you have to do is select the best way to increase HDL in your system.