Many people think of cholesterol as being a bad thing, but that is not always the case. Although one type of cholesterol is a heart-health disaster, the other type actually boosts your cardiac wellbeing. If you have heart disease, your cardiologist will work with you to lower your bad cholesterol while increasing your good cholesterol. Here are the facts you need to know about good and bad cholesterol:
Understanding Good versus Bad Cholesterol
There are two types of cholesterol : LDL and HDL. When people refer to lowering their cholesterol levels, they are talking about reducing LDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol can cause clogged arteries and coronary heart disease. HDL cholesterol, on the other hand, is an indicator of a healthy heart. Although doctors aren’t sure why, the higher your HDL cholesterol, the more protection you have against fatty deposits building up on your artery walls. Increasing your HDL cholesterol will offer greater protection against heart disease.
Increasing Your HDL Cholesterol
Start by talking to your cardiologist about your cholesterol levels and what kind of changes you need to make in order to get both of your numbers moving in the right directions. There are a number of different things you can do to increase your HDL cholesterol. Drinking orange juice, adding soy to your diet, and eating monounsaturated fats will all boost HDL levels. Reducing your alcohol intake will also help. If you smoke, stop. Smoking is bad for your heart in a number of different ways, including driving your HDL cholesterol down. Aim to eat foods with low glycemic indexes, including whole grains and beans. These foods have a minimal impact on your blood sugar, which is good for your heart health.
The cardiologists at Cardiac Solutions can help you make smart decisions about your heart health , including changing your lifestyle to boost your HDL cholesterol numbers. Appointments are available at our heart health centers in Phoenix and Glendale. Call (623) 208-5305 to schedule your visit.