Great article on Wikihow….

Part One: Raising High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL)

Ask your doctor for a cholesterol blood test. Your doctor may suggest changes in lifestyle or diet if your HDL measures less than 60 mg/dL.



  • HDL, or high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, acts as the body’s waste-disposal system in the blood. HSL combs through blood for bad cholesterol, LDL, and flushes it out to your liver for disposal. HDL lowers inflammation throughout the body and may even help against Alzheimer’s.[1] That’s why you want lots of HDL and less LDL.
  • Set a target for your good HDL. Cholesterol is measured in milligrams per deciliter of blood. Men whose levels are between 40 and 60 mg/dL and women between 50 and 60 mg/dL are considered at risk for heart disease.
  • 2
    Lose weight if you are overweight. If you lose 6 lbs, (2.72 kg) you can increase the good HDL that removes bad low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, according to Mayo Clinic.[2] Losing weight involves a combination of eating healthy and exercise. You can lose weight without doing both, but most successful weight loss regimens have both at their core.



    • Eat fewer calories than your body burns during the day. It takes 3,500 calories to lose a pound. That means that if you consume 2,000 calories during the day, you will need to burn 5,500 calories in order to lose one pound. Most people only burn a fraction of a pound per day.
    • Don’t starve yourself. Losing weight is all about eating healthy foods, according to correct portions, at the right times. If you starve yourself, your body will prime itself for deprivation and begin to store fat, almost like a bear before hibernation. Eat well in the morning, and progressively less as the day wears on.
    • Don’t expect to lose all your weight immediately. Weight loss takes time. If you shed a couple pounds a week, consider yourself very successful. Most people who try to lose serious weight get discouraged and quit just as the real battle begins because they don’t see real results. Stay in the fight for the long haul.
  • 3
    Exercise. Increase your heart rate for at least a half hour 5 times a week by doing things like playing basketball, raking, walking, running, bicycling or swimming. Within 2 months you can increase HDL by as much as 5 percent, Mayo Clinic says.[2]



    • If you have trouble finding time to exercise, break your exercise into 3, 10-minute sessions. At work, take a break and go for a brisk walk for 10 minutes before your lunch break and during or after lunch and when you get home.
    • If you want to get the most out of your exercise (because you’re an efficiency hawk), try interval training.[3] Interval training involves short bursts of furious activity followed by longer periods of lower activity. Try running around the track at full speed for one lap, followed by three laps of jogging.
  • 4
    Choose healthier fats. In a good diet, 25 to 35 percent of calories come from fats; less than 7 percent should be saturated. There is one type of fats in particular that is good for HDL and generally healthy for your cholesterol and heart health:



    • Monounsaturated fats. In an ideal world, most of your fats should come from this group of fats, as they lower overall cholesterol but maintain HDL. Monounsaturated fats include:
      • nuts (almonds, peanuts, cashews, macadamia nuts, pecans etc.)[4]
      • avocado
      • olive oil
      • sesame oil, tahini
  • 5
    Drink at most one or two alcoholic beverages per day. Moderate alcohol consumption has been linked to lower rates of heart disease, interestingly enough.[5] A drink or two may improve your HDL. Women and people over 65 years should have just 1 drink per day, men 2 drinks per day. Mayo Clinic advises that people who don’t drink alcohol shouldn’t start.



    • Drinking red wine, in particular, may help boost your HDL levels. Red wine contains a natural plant chemical called resveratrol, which can also lower your risk of inflammation and blood clotting, and has showed promising signs in tests on animals.[6]
  • 6
    Quit smoking to boost HDL. Smoking lowers your HDL levels, as well as being generally unhealthy.[7][8] Additionally, quitting smoking may make it easier to do the exercise necessary to lose excess weight.







    Part Two: Lowering Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL)




    Ask your doctor if you should take medication to lower LDL. The ideal level of low-density lipoproteins is 100 to 129 mg/dL, although under 100 is even better.[8] Your doctor may recommend drugs if your LDL level is at 160 or higher.



    • Talk to your doctor about prescription niacin, a B vitamin. Prescription niacin has fewer side effects than over-the-counter niacin. In addition to lowering LDL, niacin may raise HDL.
    • Your doctor may recommend you take fibrates. Commonly prescribed fibrates are gemfibrozil (Lopid) and fenofibrate (Lobifra and Tricor).
    • Ask your doctor about taking statins to lower your cholesterol. Statins can help prevent your liver from making cholesterol and may spur your liver to absorb cholesterol built up on artery walls.




    • 2
      Eat certain foods to lower LDL.

      • Consume oats, whole grains and high-fiber foods.



      • Brazil nuts, almonds and walnuts may help lower LDL.
      • Omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish, flax seed, flax seed oil and fish oil supplements can help lower LDL and raise HDL. Fatty fish include salmon, flounder, haddock, catfish, sardines, bluefish, herring, albacore tuna and anchovies.



      • Eating substances called sterols and stanols may help. Sterols and stanols are in orange juice, some yogurt drinks and some margarines formulated to help fight bad cholesterol. Food manufacturers are putting sterols and stanols into other food products, too.
    • 3
      Limit saturated fats and trans fats. Saturated and trans fats are the “bad” fats, and double-whammies at that: they lower your HDL and heighten your LDL.[9] Replace saturated and trans fats with good fats (see above section) will help you lower your LDL levels.



      • Saturated fats include:
        • Butter
        • Lard, shortening
        • Whipped cream
        • Coconut and palm oil
      • Trans fats include:
        • Partially hydrogenated oils
        • Margarine
        • Ramen noodles
        • Fast food
    • 4
      Substitute water and green tea for high-calorie beverages. Water provides essential nutrients to organs and doesn’t contain any sugars that promote LDL. Green tea has substances that reduce bad cholesterol.[10] Try staying away from the sugary or caffeinated (or both) drinks and stick with water or green tea.



    • 5
      Try the TLC diet. The TLC diet, which stands for Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes, is a diet designed to specifically lower LDL.[11] As such, it may not help you lose weight, but it’s a good way of reaching a target LDL and staying there.
      • Set your target calorie level. For men, the recommended daily value is 2,500, while for women the value is 1,800.



      • Cut saturated fats to about 7% of total calorie consumption. Cut out most fatty dairy products like cheese and high-fat meats like salami.
      • Eat less than 200 milligrams of dietary cholesterol a day.
      • Eat mostly fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins (skin-off poultry, soy products, fish), and low-fat dairy products.