raise good cholesterol
lower bad cholesterol

When you begin a program to improve your cholesterol, it is important to know what it means to raise good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol.  People always talk about good and bad cholesterol.  What does that mean? Cholesterol is carried through your bloodstream by lipoproteins. One type of lipoprotein is called LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and  another is called HDL (high-density protein. Together with some triglycerides, these make up our cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is essential to life. HDL cholesterol cleans and maintains the inner walls of blood vessels.  

According to the Mayo Clinic, cholesterol is a waxy substance having several important functions.  It helps to build cells.  If you have too much ldl cholesterol, it will keep recirculating causing unhealthy buildup of plaque in your veins which can lead to coronary heart disease. This would be a reason to raise good cholesterol.

LDL is the bad cholesterol. I remember this because lousy also starts with L.  HDL is the good cholesterol. Healthly starts with H. It is much more involved than this, but LDL and HDL along with triglycerides will be reported when you have your cholesterol tested.

HDL cholesterol or good cholesterol picks up extra cholesterol in your body and takes it to the liver where it can be eliminated.  So it is not only important to lower LDL, but it is important to raise HDL. 

foods that raise good cholesterol (HDL)

  • dark chocolate (small amount eaten daily)
  • avocado
  • olive oil
  • fish such as salmon
  • purple skinned fruits and vegetables like beets
  • oats
  • nuts
  • fatty fish

Other ways to raise HDL cholesterol

  • Don't use tobacco
  • limit alcohol intake
  • cut sugar
  • no processed foods
  • exercise daily

Food is not the only way to raise your HDL.  Many people think that just changing your diet is enough.  You need to also check your lifestyle choices.  If you smoke and drink daily and never exercise, it will be more difficult for you to raise good cholesterol.

foods that lower LDL

  • fatty fish
  • avocado
  • olive oil
  • freshly ground flaxseed
  • chia seeds
  • okra
  • kale
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • spinach
  • nuts
  • garlic
  • beans
  • quinoa
  • tomatoes
  • soy
  • grape juice
  • oats
  • flax seed oil with cottage cheese

other ways to lower LDL

  • exercise
  • don't use or eat saturated fat
  • don't use tobacco
  • drink green tea

For a long healthy life, eat healthy--you can raise your good cholesterol and lower your bad cholesterol.  turn that lousy cholesterol score into a healthy one.

For a good explanation on cholesterol, see the Harvard Medical School site.