More and more people in my clinic are showing HDL cholesterol values of 80 mg/dl or higher, males included.
Think about it: Nationwide, average HDL for males is 42 mg/dl and for females 52 mg/dl. Even though these average values are generally regarded as favorable, HDL cholesterol values at these levels are nearly always associated with higher levels of triglycerides, postprandial (after-eating) lipoprotein abnormalities, and excessive quantities of small LDL particles.
HDL particles are, of course, protective and are powerfully anti-oxidative. Higher levels of HDL have been associated with reduced potential for cancer, as well as reduced risk for heart disease.
Following the simple regimen that we follow to gain control over coronary plaque has therefore increased levels of HDL to heights that are uncommon in the rest of the population, levels that readily top 80, 90, or 100 mg/dl. That regimen includes:
1) Elimination of all wheat–Yes, consumption of “healthy whole grains” sets you up to have lower HDL levels; elimination of wheat increases HDL.
2) Limited carbohydrate consumption–While eliminating wheat is a powerful nutritional strategy to increase HDL, non-wheat carbohydrates like quinoa, millet, beans, rice, and fruit can still cause high triglycerides that lead to reduced levels of HDL. Limited exposure helps keep HDL at higher levels.
3) Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation–Because omega-3 fatty acids reduce both triglycerides and blunt the postprandial rise in lipoproteins that can cause HDL degradation, HDL rises with omega-3s from fish oil.
4) Vitamin D supplementation–The effect is slow, but it is BIG. HDL just goes up and up and up over about 2 years of supplementation. Before vitamin D, HDL levels of 60 mg/dl were the best I could hope for in most people. Now 80 mg/dl is an everyday occurrence.
Other factors can also be used to increase HDL levels, such as weight loss, red wine and alcohol, exercise, cocoa flavonoids, green tea, and niacin. But following the regimen above sends HDL through the roof in the majority.
Change your life in 60 seconds