Question: Are There Natural Ways to Increase Good Cholesterol or to Lower Bad Cholesterol?
Answer: Bad cholesterol, or LDL, is bad because it builds up in arteries and forms hard plaques. Good cholesterol, or HDL, is thought to actually clean some of that bad cholesterol out of the arteries. Ideally you'd like to have your bad cholesterol under 100 and your good cholesterol above 40.
There are natural ways to do this: You can increase your good cholesterol with 30 minutes of physical activity four or more days a week. You can actually break the 30 minutes up into three 10-minute intervals throughout your day. In order to lower bad cholesterol, aim for a heart-healthy diet -- one that's rich in vegetables and fruits, fish, lean meat, poultry and whole grains. Stay away from saturated fats and trans fats. And if you smoke, stop, because smoking actually increases the amount of bad cholesterol that's in the body. Keep in mind though that even with a perfect diet and the best exercise regimen, there's still people who need medication to control their cholesterol. So talk to your doctor about what the best regimen is for you.
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