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Just because you know that HDL cholesterol is considered the good cholesterol doesn’t mean that’s all you need to know about it. And just because you think that your HDL cholesterol level is good enough doesn’t mean you are safest…Have you checked your bad cholesterol level? A very high bad cholesterol level would require a very high HDL level as well. 

In fact, just a few years back, research and studies have identified low HDL cholesterol level as a risk factor for heart disease itself. This means that even if the total blood cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels are normal, a low HDL cholesterol level will still put a person at risk for coronary artery disease. Normal HDL level is 40 mg/dL for men and 50 mg/dL for women.

So why then is it considered good? Apparently, it is not the cholesterol that is good but the “drive”. The HDL molecule is made up of protein, lipids and cholesterol which sweeps the walls of the arteries to remove cholesterol build up and transports it back to the liver for elimination through the gastrointestinal tract. 

Low HDL cholesterol levels still pose great risks for patients, however, some doctors concentrate on letting the patients bring down their total blood cholesterol and bad cholesterol levels, not giving so much attention on the HDL cholesterol level.

So who needs to increase their HDL cholesterol levels? Males whose HDL cholesterol levels are below 40 mg/dL and women whose levels do not reach 50 mg/dL should exert effort in increasing their HDL cholesterol levels regardless if their total blood cholesterol and bad cholesterol levels are within the normal range.  

How can a person increase his HDL level? 

* Exercising is one of the best ways to elevate your HDL cholesterol level. Some other physical activities like walking, jogging, biking, or anything that will increase your heart rate for at least 30 minutes at one time will help raise your HDL level. 
* Losing weight does not only increase your HDL cholesterol levels, it also reduces you bad cholesterol level.
* Changing one’s eating pattern is not exactly becoming a vegetarian or switching to tasteless foods. It merely advises you to do away with food choices that have high cholesterol content. Substitutes that are as delectable as the foods we are accustomed to are also available.
* Quitting smoking can actually increase your HDL cholesterol levels up to 15% to 20%.

Those are just some of the ways to increase your HDL cholesterol levels. If you feel that you still haven’t reached your desired HDL level, refer your concern to your doctor. Awareness will definitely save you all the complications. 

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