High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is commonly known as good cholesterol for the body.
When the body has high levels of HDL, it helps bring cholesterol from the artery to the liver, where it is used or excreted.
In addition, high HDL has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases .
Most health experts recommend the lowest level of HDL in men is 40 mg / dl and 50 mg / dl for women.
In addition to genetic factors, there are several other factors that affect the body's HDL level.
Here are nine healthy ways to boost your HDL cholesterol.
1. Use olive oil
Olive oil is one of the best fats ever known.
A large analysis of 42 studies involving more than 800,000 participants indicated that olive oil is the only source of monounsaturated fat that could reduce the risk of heart disease .
Research has shown that one of the cardiovascular effects of olive oil is to increase HDL cholesterol in the body. This is believed to be due to the antioxidants found in olive oil, called polyphenols .
Pure olive oil has more polyphenols than processed olive oil, but this depends on the different types of olives.
A study for 200 healthy young men used about 2 tablespoons (25 ml) of olive oil every day for 3 weeks.
The researchers found that their HDL levels increased significantly after they used olive oil with the highest polyphenol content .
In another study with 62 older people taking about 4 tablespoons (50 ml) of olive oil with high polyphenol content for 6 weeks, the results showed that their HDL cholesterol level increased by an average of 6.5 mg. / dl .
In addition to enhancing HDL levels, olive oil also enhances HDL's anti-inflammatory and antioxidant abilities in studies with older people and individuals with high cholesterol levels .
If possible, choose high quality, certified, virgin olive oil and have the highest polyphenol content.
Conclude: Pure olive oil with high levels of polyphenols helps increase HDL levels for healthy people, the elderly and those with high cholesterol.
2. Compliance with Ketogenic diet and low carb
Ketogenic diet and low carb brings many health benefits, including weight loss and blood sugar reduction.
Experts find that this diet helps raise HDL cholesterol for people with low HDL levels.
This group includes people who are obese, insulin resistant or have diabetes .
In one study, people with type 2 diabetes were divided into two groups.
Group 1 follows the diet with less than 50 grams of carb per day. The other group followed a high-carb diet.
Although both groups lost weight, HDL cholesterol of the low-carb group doubled that of the high-carb group .
In another study, obese people followed Low-carb diets has increased a total of 5 mg / dl HDL cholesterol.
Meanwhile, the same study, participants who followed a low-fat, high-carb diet, found that their HDL cholesterol levels decreased .
This result is due in part to people with high levels of body fat following a low-carb diet.
A study in overweight women found that meat and cheese diets increased HDL levels by 5-8% compared to high-carb diets .
In addition, in addition to increasing HDL cholesterol, low-carb diets help reduce triglycerides and help improve some of the risk factors for heart disease .
Conclude: Ketogenic and low-carb diets often help increase HDL cholesterol levels in people with diabetes, metabolic syndrome and obesity.
3. Exercise regularly
Physical activity is very important for cardiovascular health.
Studies show that many exercise methods are effective in increasing HDL cholesterol, including exercise, high-intensity and aerobic exercises .
However, the amount of HDL is highest when performing intense exercises.
A small study monitored women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) with a higher risk of insulin resistance. Research requires them to perform intense exercises 3 times a week.
As a result, these exercises increased HDL cholesterol levels to 8 mg / dL after 10 weeks. These women also improved other health signs, including reducing insulin resistance and improving arterial function .
In a 12-week study with overweight men, doing intense exercise helped them increase their HDL cholesterol by 10%.
In contrast, the low intensity exercise group showed only a 2% increase and the endurance exercise group did not change .
However, low-intensity exercise also seems to increase HDL's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory efficacy, regardless of whether HDL levels change .
In general, high-intensity exercise including intermittent high-intensity exercises (HIIT) and high-intensity circulatory exercises (HICT) can increase HDL cholesterol levels the most.
Conclude: Exercising several times a week can help increase HDL cholesterol as well as enhance anti-inflammatory and antioxidant abilities. High-intensity exercise forms great effect.
4. Add coconut oil to your diet
Studies have shown that coconut oil Can help reduce appetite, increase metabolic rate and help protect brain health, and many other benefits.
Some people may be concerned about the impact of coconut oil on cardiovascular health because it contains high levels of saturated fat.
However, coconut oil is really beneficial for cardiovascular.
Coconut oil tends to increase HDL cholesterol levels more than other fats.
In addition, coconut oil also improves the ratio of bad cholesterol (LDL), converted to HDL cholesterol. This helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease .
One study examined the health effects of coconut oil on 40 women with abdominal fat. Researchers have found that people who use coconut oil daily have an increase in HDL cholesterol as well as a decrease in the rate of LDL-to-HDL conversion.
In contrast, daily soybean oil groups reduced HDL cholesterol and increased LDL-to-HDL conversion rates .
Most studies show the health benefits of coconut oil when used in doses of about 2 tablespoons daily (30ml). It is best to use coconut oil for cooking instead of using it directly.
Conclude: Taking 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of coconut oil a day can increase HDL cholesterol levels.
5. Stop smoking
Smoking increases the risk of health problems, including cardiovascular disease and lung cancer .
One of its harmful effects is inhibiting HDL cholesterol.
Some studies show that quitting smoking can increase HDL levels in the body. This is true when a study has found no significant difference in HDL levels between those who have quit smoking and those who have never smoked .
In a year-long study of more than 1,500 participants, those who quit smoking doubled their HDL intake compared to those who continued smoking that year. HDL particles also increase a large part, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease .
A study tracks smokers, switching from traditional cigarettes to electronic cigarettes within a year. They found that this shift increased HDL cholesterol levels by an average of 5 mg / dl .
When it comes to the effect of nicotine patches on HDL levels in the body, the results of the study are mixed.
One study found that nicotine replacement patches make HDL cholesterol higher. However, other studies have also shown that people taking nicotine will not see their HDL levels rise until the therapy is completed .
Even studies show that HDL cholesterol levels do not increase after cessation of smoking, the functions of HDL still improve, help reduce inflammation symptoms and many beneficial effects on heart health .
Conclude: Stopping smoking can increase HDL levels, help improve HDL function and help protect cardiovascular health.
6. Lose weight
When people are overweight and obese weight loss Their HDL cholesterol levels often increase.
Moreover, this seems to work even for weight loss methods such as calorie counting, carb reduction, occasional fasting, weight loss surgery or a combination of diet and exercise. .
A study examines HDL levels in more than 3,000 adults who are overweight and obese in Japan, who have followed the lifestyle modification process within a year.
Researchers found that reducing at least 6.6 lbs (3 kg) would raise HDL cholesterol levels by an average of 4 mg / dl .
In another study, for obese people with type 2 diabetes who applied a calorie-restricted diet with only 20-30% of calories provided from protein, these people then increased their cholesterol levels. Significant HDL .
The key to achieving and maintaining healthy HDL cholesterol levels is to choose the easiest diet to lose weight.
Conclude: Some weight loss methods have been shown to increase HDL cholesterol levels in overweight or obese people.
7. Use purple foods
Using purple fruits and vegetables is a delicious method to increase HDL cholesterol.
Purple foods contain antioxidants, known as anthocyanins.
Studies of anthocyanin extracts have shown that this substance helps fight inflammation, protects stem cells from injury and can increase HDL cholesterol levels .
In a 24-week study with 58 people with diabetes, those who received anthocyanin twice a day, had HDL cholesterol levels increased by 19%, along with other improvements in cardiovascular health .
In another study, when people with cholesterol problems took anthocyanin extracts for 12 weeks, the results made their HDL cholesterol levels rise by 13.7% .
Although these studies use extracts instead of food, there are some fruits and vegetables that contain very high levels of anthocyanins. Includes eggplant, purple corn, red cabbage, blueberry, raspberries and raspberry.
Conclude: Using anthocyanin-rich fruits and vegetables can increase HDL cholesterol levels.
8. Regularly eat fatty fish
Omega-3 fats in fatty fish has great benefits for cardiovascular health, including reducing inflammation and increasing the function of cells leading into arteries .
Some studies show that eating fatty fish or using fish oil may also help increase HDL cholesterol levels .
In a study with 33 heart disease patients, these people were fed fatty fish 4 times a week, resulting in their HDL cholesterol being increased. HDL particle size is also increased .
In another study with obese men, they were given herring 5 days a week for 6 weeks, and their HDL cholesterol levels increased by 5% compared to eating lean pork and chicken 5 days a week .
However, some studies show that there is no increase in HDL cholesterol in the case of increased fish and omega-3 supplements
In addition to herring, some other fatty fish help boost HDL cholesterol, including salmon, sardines, mackerel and catfish.
Conclude: Eating fatty fish several times a week helps raise HDL cholesterol levels as well as provide many other benefits for cardiovascular health.
9. Avoid artificial trans fat
Artificial trans fat has many negative effects on health due to inflammation .
There are two types of trans fat. The first can be found in nature as in animal foods, including products from full-fat cow's milk.
In contrast, artificial trans fat found in margarine and processed foods is created by adding hydrogen to vegetable oils and unsaturated oils. These fats are also called industrial trans fat or partially hydrogenated fats.
Studies have shown that, in addition to increasing inflammation and contributing to some health problems, these artificial trans fats also lower HDL cholesterol levels.
In one study, researchers compared the HDL levels of participants when they consumed different amounts of margarine.
The study found that participants' HDL cholesterol levels dropped by 10% after they used partially hydrogenated soybean margarine compared to the level when they used palm oil .
Another study monitored 40 adults with a high-trans fat diet.
The researchers found that women 's HDL cholesterol levels were significantly lower after they ate a diet high in industrial trans fat, compared to following a diet containing natural trans fat .
To protect cardiovascular health and keep healthy HDL cholesterol levels, it is best to avoid using artificial trans fat completely.
Conclude: Artificial trans fats have been shown to reduce HDL levels and increase inflammation, compared to other types of fats.
Although your HDL cholesterol level is determined in part by genetic factors, there are many natural methods that help boost HDL levels.
Moreover, methods to increase HDL cholesterol also help bring many other health benefits.