Why HDL is Important for Your Heart Health

Understanding HDL and Its Benefits for Heart Health

Having a healthy heart is important for your overall health, and one key marker of heart health is your HDL cholesterol level. HDL stands for High-Density Lipoprotein, and it is also known as “good” cholesterol. HDL plays an important role in managing your overall heart health, because it helps keep your cholesterol levels in balance.

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What is HDL cholesterol?

HDL cholesterol is a type of lipoprotein that helps transport cholesterol from the tissues to your liver, where it is either passed from your body or reused. Generally, the higher your HDL cholesterol level, the lower your risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Why is HDL cholesterol important?

HDL cholesterol is important for overall heart health because it helps remove “bad” cholesterol from your arteries and other tissues. Lower levels of “bad” cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) are associated with a lower risk of CVD, while higher levels can increase your risk of developing conditions such as atherosclerosis, a disease in which plaque builds up in your arteries.

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How can I raise my HDL cholesterol levels?

If your HDL cholesterol level is low, there are several lifestyle changes you can make to help raise your HDL cholesterol levels. For example, regular aerobic exercise is one way to raise your HDL cholesterol levels. Other lifestyle changes include quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, and maintaining a healthy weight.

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The Bottom Line

HDL cholesterol is an important factor for overall heart health. Regular aerobic exercise and following a healthy diet can help raise your HDL cholesterol levels and protect you from developing cardiovascular disease. Keeping your HDL cholesterol levels in the optimal range is essential for a healthy heart and overall good health.
Important Heart

What is the optimal level of HDL for heart health?

The optimal level of HDL for heart health is generally considered to be 60 mg/dL or higher. A level below 40 mg/dL can increase the risk of heart disease.