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July 16, 2010 • Cancer Prevention, Healthy Eating & Nutrition, Heart Health

HDL Cholesterol – How to Increase HDL – Good Cholesterol

In an intriguing new report, scientists determined that having a high HDL (good) cholesterol level is strongly associated with a lower risk of cancer.  The data comes from a review of 24 pooled studies that followed cancer incidence and HDL levels.  The researchers found a 36% lower risk of cancer for every 10 point increase in HDL levels.  Although this evaluation could not prove cause and effect, there are several plausible ways that HDL cholesterol could afford cancer protection, including through its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties or via a direct effect on the immune system.

Thankfully there are a number of things you can do to increase your HDL level. They include:

  • Losing weight
  • Exercising regularly
  • Drinking alcohol in moderation
  • Avoiding tobacco
  • Removing all trans fats from your diet
  • Including these foods regularly: whole soy foods, green tea, shitake mushrooms, chili peppers, onions, garlic, oily fish, olive oil, nuts, avocados, beans and oats.

A normal HDL for women is >50 and for men >40. Mine is 94 – proof in the healthy pudding that living and eating right will bring it up!