Even the mention of “cholesterol” causes worried expressions on faces. Given the link between cholesterol and heart attacks and strokes, too much cholesterol in the blood can cause plaque to build and blood vessels to narrow, which can cause heart disease; that’s why it has earned such a poor image.
Although cholesterol is considered negative for your health, it’s not entirely harmful. However, a type of cholesterol benefits your health, and you can take advantage of that.
One of the two types of cholesterol that appear on the results of a lipid panel test that assesses your risk of cardiovascular disease is high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Low-density lipoprotein is the other (LDL).
The HDL, or “good cholesterol”, plays several critical roles in the body. Therefore, you require a sufficient level of HDL. Keep reading to learn more about HDL cholesterol and how to increase your levels for improved health.
A Brief Overview of High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL)
The term “high-density” lipoprotein refers to the healthy cholesterol HDL, which is dense because it contains a lot of protein and little fat. Although it performs many vital tasks, its primary purpose is to act as a scavenger or cleaner in the bloodstream to remove harmful LDL cholesterol before it builds up.
Because LDL causes plaque in your blood vessels, which restricts or blocks blood flow and oxygen, the good HDL removes harmful LDL cholesterol from your blood and transports it to your liver for excretion. HDL also exerts anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects on the heart.
Research shows that HDL cholesterol lowers your chance of developing heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Therefore, HDL is essential for preserving the body’s normal cholesterol levels. However, the equilibrium may be upset if HDL levels drop below normal.
You want to keep your HDL levels high to keep your system functioning at its best. Males should have healthy HDL cholesterol levels of at least 40 mg/dl, females should have at least 50 mg/dl, and children should have at least 45 mg/dl, according to measurements during a fast. So, a value above 60 mg/dL is high, and below 40 mg/dL is low.
A lipid panel, a blood test, can measure your cholesterol levels. With more than 25 million users, HealthifyMe is the most well-known health and wellness platform.
Over the last few months, the product has added several features to cater to various lifestyle diseases that are a byproduct of metabolic disorders and poor lifestyle choices with obvious symptomatic conditions like being overweight, underweight or obese. For example, its innovative metabolic panel testing can quickly determine cholesterol levels and other parameters.
In addition, qualified coaches can identify any underlying medical conditions you may be predisposed to and guide you in managing them. You can learn how to raise your HDL cholesterol levels with proper dietary and lifestyle modifications.
IOS and Android users can access the HealthifyMe app, a feature-rich health and fitness tracking software. Additionally, the app generates highly customised diet and fitness plans from leading nutritionists and trainers that consider your current cholesterol level, target weight, calculated BMI, calorie limit, and dietary preferences.
The beauty of this process is that BIOS, the CGM-based wearable device that measures your blood glucose levels on a real-time basis, sends real-time updates to the stakeholders in the health journey- the user and their coach. Therefore, every plan is unique and customised based on the user’s metabolic profile and response mechanism to food and lifestyle modifications.
For example, standardised plans based on only calorie counting and taking 10000 steps are effective and have worked historically to improve metabolic conditions.
The current enhanced product takes into consideration past learnings and marries it beautifully with technological advancement and personalised coaching based on real-time user data.
The HealthifyMe Note
You genuinely need high-density lipoproteins, or HDL cholesterol, despite what you may have previously believed about cholesterol. Raising your HDL levels can reduce your risk of heart disease, which can increase if your levels are low. Several variables, such as physical activity and family history., influence heart health and cholesterol levels. The rate at which this happens varies from person to person, but several dietary and lifestyle adjustments might help raise your HDL levels.
Ways to Increase HDL Cholesterol
Even though some drugs can raise HDL cholesterol, studies have shown they do not always change your risk of heart disease. Therefore, one should frequently focus more on lifestyle adjustments that raise HDL levels and lower LDL.
Additionally, to improve your overall health, these adjustments may aid in the prevention of various ailments. Here are some suggestions for how to increase your good cholesterol and maintain good heart health:
Swap Oils and Fats
Not all fats are “bad.”.Biologically, a variety of bodily processes require fat. So, opt for healthy fats like polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, omega-3 and fatty acids.
For example, mono-saturated fat in olive oil lowers the risk of cardiac issues, including stroke. In addition, olive oil contains polyphenols, which are antioxidants.
According to a study, olive oil’s ability to raise HDL, the good cholesterol, is due to its polyphenol content, which acts as an antioxidant and protects the heart from oxidative damage. So naturally, extra virgin olive oil contains more polyphenols than treated olive oil. Various brands and varieties include different amounts of polyphenol.
Some examples are coconut oil, peanut oil, sesame oil, walnut oil, mustard oil, ghee, flaxseed, chia seeds, fatty fish, and other healthy fats. One excellent example is the Mediterranean diet.
Nuts are a good source of unsaturated fatty acids and are high in fibre. Polyphenols and phytosterols are also present in them and act as antioxidants. They have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. They lessen the heart’s oxidative damage as a result.
Nuts contain a reasonable amount of unsaturated fatty acids. These good fats may raise HDL cholesterol levels. Additionally, they might lower the body’s levels of harmful cholesterol.
According to studies, nuts like cashew nuts raise HDL cholesterol levels. Additionally, the oleic acid, phytosterols, and phenolic components in cashews strengthen blood vessels and are excellent for the heart.
The heart-healthy qualities of cashews lower blood pressure, increasing HDL and LDL cholesterol. Almonds are also a fantastic source of fibre, potassium, magnesium, vitamin E, MUFA, and PUFA, all of which are wonderful for your heart.
Furthermore, almonds increase HDL while lowering LDL cholesterol. Consuming nuts like walnuts, peanuts, and others may therefore be beneficial.
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