Do you have High Cholesterol

Raising HDL Cholesterol Levels

Millions of Americans have high cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol levels usually increase with age. High cholesterol often goes unnoticed until a serious medical condition develops. There are many causes of high cholesterol, but there are a few things everyone can do to lower their LDL cholesterol levels. Diet, habits and weight are all important factors in lowering cholesterol. Here is an overview on raising HDL cholesterol levels.

Eating Healthy Foods

Unhealthy eating has been proven to cause several health problems. A diet high in fried foods will increase LDL cholesterol levels. Fortunately, there are ways to enjoy animal fats without damaging side effects. Grilling and baking fish is a much healthier alternative to fried seafood. Reducing the amount of dairy eaten can also lower bad cholesterol levels. For breakfast, eating oatmeal instead of eggs will lower LDL cholesterol.

Eliminating Bad Habits

Smoking can do more than cause breathing problems. People who routinely smoke cigarettes have higher LDL cholesterol levels. In fact, studies have shown women who smoke while pregnant put their children at risk for heart attacks and strokes later in life. Quitting smoking can raise HDL cholesterol levels by ten percent.

Improving Fitness Levels

Overweight people are more likely to have high LDL cholesterol levels. Scientists have shown regular physical activity can increase HDL cholesterol levels, and making an effort to walk a few more steps can have a positive impact over a period of time. Losing only six pounds can slightly raise good cholesterol levels, and regular cardio exercises can double the effectiveness.

Proper diet and fitness are great for overall health, but people with a family history of severe health problems should speak with a physician. Some people with a family history of elevated LDL levels may be at a higher risk for chronic diseases than the general population. A doctor will usually order blood testing in people who have a long family history of high cholesterol. Part of the testing process will require fasting for several hours before checking cholesterol levels. When the test is completed, the doctor can design a plan that meets cholesterol level guidelines.