Five Ways to Get More Good Cholesterol

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Five Ways to Get More Good Cholesterol

Like the adopt-a-highway folks who tidy up the nation’s roads, a housekeeping crew in your bloodstream works 24/7 to keep your arteries squeaky-clean. On the crew: Healthy HDL cholesterol, which goes after lousy LDL before it can morph into heart-threatening plaque.

1. Good HDL acts like a plastic bag; it wraps up bits of LDL and totes them to your liver for disposal. The more HDL, the merrier your arteries: Every 1-point rise reduces your odds of a fatal heart attack by 6 percent. A great HDL level is 50 mg/dl and higher. How can you get yours into this range? Eat healthy fats, as in walnuts, avocadoes, salmon, trout, and olive and canola oils. Adding monounsaturated fats to a healthy diet can raise your HDL by 12 percent.

2. Walk for 30 minutes a day, and raise HDL by 9 percent. Add 20 minutes of intense exercise three times a week — and you increase it further.

3. Lose a bit if you need to. You’ll add 1 HDL point for every 6.6 pounds you drop.

4. Quit smoking. Besides its other payoffs, this will boost your HDL by 4 points. Even if you put on a few pounds, says a new study.

5. Ask your doc about taking niacin (vitamin B-3), or pantothenic acid (vitamin B-5). To deter hot flashes, a B-3 side effect, ask about taking two baby aspirins with a glass of warm water an hour beforehand.

6. Talk to your doc about other choices: A little alcohol, estrogen replacement if you’re a woman, and a low-dose statin drug such as rosuvastatin twice a week.


The YOU Docs — Mike Roizen and Mehmet Oz –