HDL (High Density Lipoprotein ) is the good cholesterol in our body. Increasing HDL concentration protects the heart. Simple dietary and lifestyle changes help this cause.

Cholesterol is an essential biological molecule and is present in animal tissues. In human beings it is produced mostly in the liver. People fear cholesterol because increased blood levels of cholesterol have been associated with coronary heart disease.

The Two Carriers

The chief lipoproteins concerned with cholesterol transport are LDL (low density lipoprotein) and HDL (high density lipoprotein). Cholesterol carried by HDL is the “good” because this cholesterol is carried in the liver to be turned into innocuous products. The term “good” has no relevance to the cholesterol produced in the liver or that obtained in food.

What is your HDL level?

HDL is one of the five major classes of lipoproteins. It is the smallest and it is also the densest. Aait normally carries 20-30% of the total blood cholesterol. Increased blood levels of HDL have beeen associated with decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. A HDL value of over 60mg/dl is supposed to protect against heart disease.

Why Women are Less Susceptible

HDL levels are determined partly by the genes. Women tend to have higher HDL levels compared to men. This is probably one of the reasons why women are more resistant to the development of coronary heart disease. A HDL of less than 40mg/dl is believe to constitute increased risk of heart disease.

HDL is Versatile

HDL is an excellent antioxidant and thus can counter inflammatory reactions of the arteries. Since inflammatory reactions are responsible for the building up of plaques in the arteries, HDL helps decrease plaque formation.

Prudent Dietary and Lifestyle Changes May Bring About Some Increase in HDL cholesterol:

- Drinking Citrus fruit juice
- Moderate alcohol consumption
- Using healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acid-containing fats
- Vegetables to provide soluble fiber is helpful.
- Aerobic exercise offer several benefits.
- If obese, lose weight
- Quit smoiking
-  Supplements of niacin and magnesium also helps.