I got a really great question while sailing through the gym the other day (as I always seem to be doing).
Here is that question:
He wanted to know how he can eat to keep his low density proteins (LDL's-the lousy ones) in an appropriate range and make sure his HDL's are at a healthy level.
First, let's get some definitions and a brief fact out of the way:
You probably already know HDL and LDL are both fats (cholesterol).
HDL - aka: high density lipoproteins are also known as the "good" cholesterol. The good guys. This is a type of fat that transports fatty acids and cholesterol from the body tissues to the liver where it can be excreted in bile. It is cardioprotective and helps to reduce the risk of plaque build up. This is why higher HDL's are encouraged.
LDL - aka: low density lipoproteins are known as the "lousy" cholesterol. It transports triglyceride and cholesterol from the liver to the body tissues.
You can see already just from the very definitions of why you would want to increase one and decrease the other.
LDL's are directly related to high processed foods and sugar, and foods that contain bad fats such as lots of bacon or high fatty meats. Eating high soluble fiber foods can be a catalyst to keeping HDL desirable and LDL in a healthy range.
Foods you need to eat in order to increase your HDL's are oatmeal, whole grains, and foods that are naturally high in fiber.
Foods to increase your HDL's
Things such as oatmeal, quinoa, amaranth.....
Foods to increase your LDL's
cakes, donuts, high fat burgers, pastries....
Simply don't eat a Clean Diet
LDL (lousy) cholesterol
Less than 100g/dL
110 - 129g/dL
190g/dL and above
near optimal/above optimal
very high (disastrous)
HDL (Good) cholesterol level
60g/dL and higher
a major risk factor for disease
protective against disease
If a clean eating lifestyle cannot change the HDL's to a favorable level, then drugs are usually prescribed. Following are some general choices.
statins : blocks the liver from making cholesterol
bile acid sequestraints: decreases the amount of fat absorbed
vitamins and supplements: niacin which blocks the liver from removing HDL and lowers triglycerides
Omega 3 fatty acids: increases the level of HDL and lowers triglycerides
Reference: Medline Plus:Summer 2012 Issue:Volume 7 Number 2 Page 6-7