GOOD CHOLESTEROL/BAD CHOLESTEROL ? Understanding HDL cholesterol
CHOLESTEROL is a waxy substance that’s found in all of your cells and has several useful functions, including helping to build your body’s cells. It’s carried through your bloodstream attached to proteins. These proteins are called lipoproteins.
Low-density lipoproteins: These lipoproteins carry cholesterol throughout your body, delivering it to different organs and tissues. But if your body has more cholesterol than it needs, the excess keeps circulating in your blood. Over time, circulating LDL CHOLESTEROL can enter your blood vessel walls and start to build up under the vessel lining. Deposits of LDL cholesterol particles within the vessel walls are called plaques, and they begin to narrow your blood vessels. Eventually, plaques can narrow the vessels to the point of blocking blood flow, causing coronary artery disease. This is why LDL cholesterol is often referred to as “bad” cholesterol.
High-density lipoproteins: These lipoproteins are often referred to as HDL, or “GOOD,” cholesterol. They act as cholesterol scavengers, picking up excess cholesterol in your blood and taking it back to your liver where it’s broken down. The higher your HDL level, the less “bad” cholesterol you’ll have in your blood.
Choose healthier fats. A healthy diet includes some fat, but there’s a limit. In a heart-healthy diet, between 25 and 35 percent of your total daily calories can come from fat — but saturated fat should account for less than 7 percent of your total daily calories. Avoid foods that contain saturated and trans fats, which raise LDL CHOLESTEROL and damage your blood vessels.
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats — found in olive, peanut and canola oils — tend to improve HDL’s anti-inflammatory abilities. Nuts, fish and other foods containing omega-3 fatty acids are other good choices for improving your LDL CHOLESTEROL to HDL cholesterol ratio.
- Oatmeal, oat bran and high-fiber foods. …
- Fish and omega-3 fatty acids. ..like Mackerel, Herring Tuna, Salmon, Trout
- Almonds and other nuts. …
- Avocados. …
- Olive oil. …
- Whey protein