There's a lot of misinformation out there about cholesterol and the numbers that go with your heart disease check up. LDL, HDL, VLDL are some of the acronyms thrown around. First LDL, low density lipoprotein, High density and very low density. VLDL is the worst, LDL is bad as well. HDL is the good guy. The high number no longer seems to be as important in terms of total cholesterol score. What is carrying more weight these days is your HDL to total score. You want 5 or less. So a total score of 240 and HDL of 60 would be 4. Not bad. Total score of 180 and HDL of 30 wold be a 3. If you looked at the total score you would say the first person is worse off, not so. The ratio is the key.
One of the things that "experts" are starting to agree on, is that the higher your HDL score, the better off you are. In fact HDL raises your chances for protecting you against heart disease and I recently read it raises your chances for preventing Alzheimer's.
So here are some concrete measure to raise that HDL score.
1. Quit smoking if you smoke. Hopefully you don't.
2. Elevate your heart rate 20 min 4x a week.
3. Add monounsaturated fats to your diet. Think avocados, olive oil, walnuts, wild fish.
4. Supplement with Omega 3's.
5. Have some alcoholic beverages a few times a week. No more then 1-2 a day.
6. Supplement with B3 (Niacin). I was reading this can raise your HDL levels by as much as 35%.