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High Cholesterol Message Board

High Cholesterol Board Index

Raising HDL
May 30, 2001
My numbers are good (HDL 45, LDL 89, Trig 140), but I really want to raise the HDL to at least the high 50s - any suggestions? I do aerobics at least 45-60 min daily. There is a family history of heart disease and I'm just trying to do all I can do lower the odds. Thank you.
Re: Raising HDL
Jun 1, 2001
Polyunsaturated vegetable oils were touted for years as being "heart healthy" because they resulted in a slight lowering of LDL. The problem is that they take the HDL down right along with the LDL. And the lowering of HDL is more significant (negatively) than the lowering of LDL in my opinion. So, one way to raise HDL is to cut back or eliminate your consumption of the highly polyunsaturated vegetable oils like corn and soybean oil. And contrary to current dietary guidance, red meat and saturated fats will have a positive (raises) effect on HDL for most. So, if you have cut out all red meat and saturated fat and switched to vegetable oils in the misguided attempt to reduce your risk of heart disease, you may want to re-think this. Especially if you have replaced the calories from that meat with things like bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, etc. since these high carbohydrate foods will result in elevated insulin levels which are the precurser to atherosclerosis and arterosclerosis (plaquing and hardening of the arteries). My advice if you are not overweight is to eat a truely balanced diet, not "balanced" per the governments recommendations (60% carb, 15% protein, 25% fat), but mathematically balanced, i.e. about 1/3 carbohydrates, 1/3 protein, 1/3 fat. And your carbohydrate choices should be mainly from low starch vegetables and lower sugar fruits. If you feel the need to eat grains, just make sure they are as close to the whole natural thing as possible.

If you are overweight, you will more than likely need to unbalance your diet (reduce the amount of carbohydrates) to get those insulin levels down so that you can burn that extra fat (the fat stored around your middle is an excellent indicator of insulin levels - it's often referred to as your insulin meter). Elevated triglycerides are a good indicator for most that they are eating more carbohydrates than they can burn off because triglycerides are basically the fats formed from carbohdyrates. Lower your carbohydrates, especially the sugars and other refined carbs, and you will lower your triglycerides, for most that is because there are always exceptions to the rule, especially when it comes to the human body.

Sorry to have gotten off on a tangent here.


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