Easy Ways to Boost HDL

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It's common knowledge that high cholesterol is a major health hazard. But how many people take into consideration good cholesterol? Good cholesterol, known as HDL, helps fight against heart disease. According to research, HDL cholesterol is made up of protein, lipids and cholesterol. The HDL drives out the LDL, also known as bad cholesterol. In men, healthy HDL levels range from 40 to 50 mg/dL; an average woman ranges from 50 to 60 mg/dL. An HDL cholesterol level of 60 mg/dL or higher seems to protect against heart disease. Progesterone, anabolic steroids and male sex hormones (such as testosterone) lower HDL cholesterol levels. Female sex hormones raise HDL levels. Here are some measures to increase your HDL: get 30-60 minutes of exercise on most days, maintain a healthy weight, quit smoking and avoid tobacco smoke when possible, eliminate trans fat, eat more soluble fiber, and increase your intake of monounsaturated fat.