8 ways to increase HLD cholesterol naturally

by Catherine Shanahan, MD
(Bedford, NH)

Dr Catherine Shanahan

Dr Catherine Shanahan

I am a board certified MD and I have helped hundreds of people who need to raise HDL or lower LDL, or both, to do so without medications.


For years, I've been telling my patients that low HDL (below 40 for a man and below 45 for a woman) is a more powerful predictor of your risk for heart attack and stroke than high HDL. You will hear more about the fact that high HDL is the secret to arterial health in the future.

Low HDL can be caused by smoking, excessive stress, lack of sleep, and lack of exercise. But for most of my patients, the cause is diet-related, specifically from eating processed or overcooked meats, exposure to vegetable oils, and inadequate dietary antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins.

All of these unhealthy lifestyle and dietary choices leave your lipoproteins especially vulnerable to the spoiling effects of oxidation that, as we just saw, makes HDL numbers drop and LDL rise. So what do you do?

Eat healthy fats along with plenty of antioxidants to keep your lipoprotein particles fresh and circulating normally.

Eight ways to raise your HDL naturally:

1. Reduce intake of processed or overcooked meats
2. Cut dietary sugar and starch
3. Swap vegetable oils for natural fats
4. Increase fresh vegetable consumption
5. Increase dietary garlic and other herbs and spices
6. Increase total daily sleep
7. Increase level of exercise
8. Quit smoking

On March 14, 2010, at a symposium in Atlanta entitled “When Low Cholesterol Isn’t Enough,” the anti-cholesterol crowd admitted that, as far as risk indicators go, low HDL is more dangerous than high LDL. But because they don’t study inflammation, they don’t know how to raise HDL without medication.

(For reference, look up a lecture titled "When Low Cholesterol Isn’t Enough: Assessing Options for Managing Residual Risk" on medscape.com)

For more details, visit DrCate.com

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