What is HDL Cholesterol
High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) is a type of lipid found in the body and is considered as the good cholesterol. This is because the HDL acts as a scavenger by taking excess cholesterol in the body and taking it to the liver where it is broken down. This action by HDL is very important because it reduced the dangers associated with high cholesterol in the body. One of the dangers associated with high cholesterol is that it accumulates along the arteries which can cause high blood pressure and heart disease. It is therefore important to ensure that you have high amounts of HDL. Normal levels of this lipid are 40-60 milligrams per decaliter (mg/dL) but doctors advise that you ensure that you have more than 60 milligrams per decaliter (mg/dL. Though HDL is obtained naturally from foods, there are several ways through which you can ensure you have higher amounts of HDL.
Ways to increase HDL in the body
- Taking monosaturated fats
- Taking a lot of fiber
- Taking natural juices (homemade)
- Eating lots of fish
- Avoiding transfatty acids
- Certain medications
- Aerobic exercises
- Losing excess weight
- Stop smoking
- Taking supplements like calcium
Though increasing the amount of HDL is a good idea, you take some caution as too much of it can also cause problems. In this case, it is always important to have periodical checks to determine the levels at different times. Doctors will advise you on whether you should reduce or increase the amount of HDL. You should have your HDL levels checked at least two times a year.
What makes HDL good cholesterol?
Those who have heard that HDL is the good cholesterol wonder how it is so. There are several factors that support this. One is the fact that HDL removes the LDL and other types of cholesterol from the lining of the blood vessels. This is important because blood is able to flow conformably through the veins preventing heart disease and high blood pressure. Secondly, HDL transports LDL and other types of bad cholesterol from the blood vessels and places where it accumulates to the liver where it is broken down and reprocessed to either HDL or other important constituents of the body. Thirdly, HDL acts as the maintenance mechanism of blood vessels. HDL has been associated with repair of blood vessels thereby preventing conditions such as atherosclerosis, which are associated with stroke and heart disease. The mechanism through which HDL works through to ensure this is not well known but it is known that it involves a series of chemical reactions. HDL has also been associated with other functions in the body making it very beneficial.