It helps flush out fatty deposits in your arteries and now HDL or ‘good’ cholesterol is in the spotlight as an anti-cancer aid. Experts at the National Cancer Institute in the US found higher levels of HDL cholesterol are linked to a 14 percent drop in overall cancer risk. Boost your HDL with these tips:
Avoid bad fats
Found in fatty meats, full fat dairy, biscuits, pastries and deep-fried fast foods, saturated and trans fats increase LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol and lower HDL cholesterol. Instead, go for healthy fats like those found in olive, canola and peanut oils, avocado, nuts and fish, which improve our HDL-to-LDL ratio.
Regular exercise increases HDL production, but you have to clock at least two hours per week to get the benefits, say researchers. For every additional 10 minutes people spent being active, there was a 1.4mg per decilitre (mg/dL) rise in good cholesterol.
watch your weight
Shifting even a little excess weight is a good thing. Experts at johns Hopkins University say every kilogram of weight lost boosts HDL cholesterol by about 1.35mg/dL. Aim for a BMI of 20 to 25, achieved at a steady weight-loss rate of 0.5kg to 1kg a week.
Take a calcium supplement
Women who took 1000mg of calcium daily for a year, as part of a New Zealand study, increased their HDL levels by about seven percent. Other research shows calcium can reduce LDL by 14 percent, as it may prevent the absorption of some dietary fat.
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