Raising Your Good Cholesterol

by Katelyn Schwanke
(last updated September 5, 2008)

If you go see your physician, he may hand you a read out of your cholesterol levels and encourage you to raise your good cholesterol. Interpreting your cholesterol levels, even with the help of your doctor, can be confusing and make it difficult for you to follow the doctor's orders and raise your good cholesterol. A basic understanding of what cholesterol is can greatly benefit you.

Cholesterol is a type of lipid, or fat, that is found throughout your body. Cholesterol is necessary for the body to survive and for your cells to function properly. There are two major types of cholesterol found in your body. The one that helps you function properly is called a high-density lipoprotein, or HDL. HDL helps remove build-up of cholesterol on your arteries. LDL, or low-density lipoprotein, is "bad" cholesterol that adds cholesterol to your arteries.

With an appreciation of the two types of cholesterol, it is easier to distinguish between just lowering cholesterol levels and raising good cholesterol. Despite the fact that lowering cholesterol is beneficial, it is more important that you do it in conjunction with raising good cholesterol. High good cholesterol levels will help fend off heart disease and other illnesses.

How do you raise good cholesterol levels? Your doctor may suggest medicinal options, or you may choose to lower it through simple dietary and lifestyle changes. Medicines available to you include Lipitor, antioxidants or niacin supplements. Although Lipitor requires a prescription, antioxidants and niacin do not. Antioxidants and niacin can be found in pill form as supplements on your local grocer's shelves.

Dietary changes may be supplemental or primary in your efforts to raise good cholesterol. As discussed above, antioxidants and niacin raise HDL levels; both antioxidants and niacin can be found in food sources. Niacin is found most commonly in breads and cereals. Antioxidants can be found in strawberries and even dark chocolate. Beyond dietary changes, you should consider other lifestyle changes that can help raise HDL levels. Smoking cessation, weight loss, and regular exercise will also help.

MORE FROM KATELYN

Living with Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is typically diagnosed in adults who have multiple risk factors. It can be managed in a variety of ways so ...

Discover More

Testing for Breast Cancer

Testing for breast cancer regularly greatly reduces the risk of developing breast cancer in its early stages. If breast ...

Discover More

Asthma Prevention

With an increase in asthma cases in the United States it is important to understand how you can prevent your children and ...

Discover More
MORE HEALTH TIPS

What is Good Cholesterol vs. Bad Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is necessary to aid in body function, but sometimes we collect too much of the wrong kind of cholesterol. It is ...

Discover More

Understanding Good Cholesterol

High-density lipoprotein or HDL, is known as "good" cholesterol. About one-third of blood cholesterol is carried by HDL. HDL ...

Discover More

Reducing Cholesterol Naturally

These days it seems that many people put most of their trust in medications when they are trying to combat medical problems. ...

Discover More

Comments for this tip:

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is nine more than 1?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Links and Sharing
  • Ask a Question
  • Make a Comment
  • Free Printable Forms
  • Free Calendars
  • Share