Discovering what is HDL cholesterol and what the difference between the good and bad levels are can be understood by first realizing what types of fats and cells exist in the body. Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like compound in a class of molecules. It can be found in many types of foods, in the human body bloodstream, and in all of the body’s cells. Its uses can aid in the formation and maintenance of cell membranes by helping a cell to tolerate changes in temperature by protecting and insulating nerve fibers. Another use is included in the formation of the sex hormones; progesterone, testosterone, estradiol, and cortisol. The digestion of food requires aid, as well as the conversion of vitamin D in the skin after being exposed to rays of sunlight. The chemical compound is created primarily in the liver, but can also be created by the cell lining in the small intestine and other cells within the body. A blood test will reveal the amount of cholesterol that is circulating within the body. Usually, about 85% of blood levels are endogenous, or produced by the body. The other 15% comes from an external source. The journey in finding how to raise HDL cholesterol should be understood because high levels can actually provide protection against artery blockage.
Good and Bad cholesterol levels refer to HDL vs. LDL. Both carry molecules made of protein and are labeled “apoproteins’. They are required because fats cannot dissolve in water or blood. When these apoproteins are combined with fats, they form a compound called lipoproteins. The density is determined by the amount of protein in the molecule. Understanding what is HDL cholesterol can help a person alter their lifestyle accordingly. HDL, or high density lipoprotein, exists and acts as a drain cleaner to prevent blockage in the arteries. Eating a low saturated fat diet, staying physically active and having levels checked every three to five years are how to raise HDL cholesterol levels. Bad levels, as they are considered, are LDL or low-density lipoproteins. These are the major carriers in the blood. High levels of LDL can increase the risk of atherosclerosis. It may mean that cell membranes have reduced the number of receptors and increased fats inside the cells. Normally, after a cell has used the fats for its chemical needs, it reduces the number of receptors.
This enables LDL levels to multiply in the blood. The body then begins to deposit the fats into the artery walls, which forms plaque and can eventually create blockages. By learning how to raise HDL cholesterol, a person can enable their body to take this excess fat and transport it to the liver for disposal. Keeping the body in a state of checks and balances can prevent any future complications with the heart or cardiovascular system. Discovering what is HDL cholesterol and educating oneself on the good and bad fats, as well as ways to achieve optimal health, are considered wise attributes to obtain. “A wise man is strong; Yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength. For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: And in multitude of counselors there is safety. Wisdom is too high for a fool: He openeth not his mouth in the gate. He that deviseth to do evil shall be called a mischievous person. The thought of foolishness is sin: And the scorner is an abomination to men” (Proverbs 24:5-9). Christians are told to seek wisdom, especially concerning the nourishment and care of their own bodies in which God resides through His Holy Spirit.
Desirable levels for the total blood ratio should remain below 200 mg/dL. This includes an HDL level of above 45 and an LDL level of below 130. How to raise HDL cholesterol levels can be done by lowering the LDL levels. There are several steps to take. First, eating a low fat diet, which means keeping total fat consumption; saturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated- to fewer than 30% of the daily intake of calories. Saturated fats are contained in butter, whole milk, hydrogenated oils, chocolate, and shortening. To reduce total fat intake, avoid or limit meats such as pork, beef, liver, and tongue and always remember to trim off the excess fat. In addition, it’s wise to avoid cheese, eggs, fried foods, nuts and cream. Use skim milk instead of whole and include fish in the diet. It is also important to make a habit out of reading food labels on all items purchased for consumption. Losing weight or maintaining a healthy diet and exercise program can greatly improve the heart and cardiovascular system. Diet and exercise alone can decrease levels by up to 15%. When seeking more information on what is HDL cholesterol, informational websites, and library reference books should be consulted for a thorough understanding on the topic. Educating oneself on the form and function of the human body and all its parts can be a wonderful way to begin the journey of living an abundant and healthy life.