3 Natural Ways To Raise Your HDL (Good Cholesterol)

In the United States alone, approximately 720,000 people suffer heart attacks each year.  Sadly, many of these tragic occurrences could have been prevented.  If you want to begin improving your heart health, consider raising your HDL or good cholesterol with the following 3 natural ways.   

Get Moving

HDL refers to high-density lipoproteins.  These type of good lipoproteins work hard to take out cholesterol from your blood.  HDL then delivers the cholesterol to the liver.  Finally, your liver breaks down the cholesterol.

Having a high good cholesterol number decreases your risks of suffering a heart attack.  One of the best ways to boost HDL is by exercising.  After beginning an exercise program, you may be able to increase your good cholesterol by as much as 5 percent in only 2 months.  In order to do so, you will need to engage in something that gets your heart pumping for 30 minutes at least 5 times per week.

If your job or family responsibilities don't provide you with 30 minutes of free time each day, you can complete your exercises throughout the day in 10 or 15 minute intervals.  Some great aerobic forms of exercise include:

  • Spinning
  • Running
  • Dancing
  • Playing tennis
  • Walking
  • Playing basketball
  • Rowing

Limit Sugar Intake

While sugar laden treats can be tasty, they can lower your good cholesterol.  If your diet includes more than 90 grams of sugar each day, your HDL number is probably suffering.  Some medical professionals recommend eating less than 2 tablespoons of sugar per day.

One way to lower sugar intake is by carefully reading food labels before making grocery purchases.  You may be surprised at the number of food products on grocery store shelves with large doses of added sugar in them.  In addition to the obvious cakes and cookies, you need to be wary of things like:

  • Pickles
  • Ketchup
  • Salad dressings
  • Cough drops
  • Cereal
  • Frozen dinners

Indulge in Dark Chocolate

While processed treats like ice cream and cake can lower your HDL, dark chocolate can actually raise it.  Therefore, when you feel the need to pamper yourself, reach for a couple of squares of decadent dark chocolate.

The positive effects of dark chocolate on HDL may result from its abundance of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory tendencies.  Besides eating plain dark chocolate squares, you can

  • Melt the squares and place the gooey chocolate on fruit slices.
  • Add warm milk to melted dark chocolate for a delightful drink.
  • Coat healthy nuts in melted dark chocolate.

Raising your good cholesterol is important for your heart health.  To keep your heart beating strong, incorporate one or more of the aforementioned natural ways to increase HDL into your daily routine.  To learn more about HDL and heart health in general, make an appointment with a reputable cardiologist today.