HDL Cholesterol Normal Range: Everything You Need to Know
The HDL cholesterol normal range is an extremely important piece of information that can help you to understand how healthy your heart is. HDL, or high density lipoprotein is known as the “good” cholesterol due to how it contributes toward removing harmful plaque from your arteries.
High HDL cholesterol levels is intimation that your heart is in good health. In contrast, low HDL levels increases your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Some diseases that could manifest if you’re not in the HDL cholesterol normal range are atherosclerosis, peripheral artery disease, heart attack, stroke, and many more.
Though there are several other values that you should be aware of on the cholesterol levels chart, residing within the HDL cholesterol normal range is paramount due to the fact that this is the type of cholesterol that actually removes harmful artery clogging plaque from your cardiovascular system.
HDL Cholesterol Normal Range (high, intermediate, and optimal)
The High Range
If your HDL cholesterol is less than 40, then you are in the “high risk” range of developing cardiovascular disease. If this is where you are, then you’ll need to make some significant lifestyle choices as soon as possible.
If your levels are under 40, this makes it much more difficult for your body to remove any plaque that resides on the walls of your arteries. An inability to do so makes it much more difficult for circulating blood to flow fluently throughout the bloodstream without much resistance. So, the more plaque you have in your arteries, the greater your risk is for experiencing a heart attack or a stroke.
Some immediate lifestyle changes that you can make are to reduce high cholesterol foods from your diet and implement some foods that will improve your HDL cholesterol. It’s also imperative that you discuss all of the options available to you with your doctor.
The Intermediate Range
The intermediate or borderline high range is 60-40. It won’t take much for your HDL cholesterol levels to decrease if you take a passive approach to being in this range. You should actively try to improve your HDL levels by aspiring to be in the optimal range.
Being in the 60-40 range means that you have a moderate risk of developing cardiovascular disease. This is not a horrible place to reside at, but it should still be improved to ensure that the well-being of your heart’s health be in good condition.
It may be a good idea to discuss your levels with your doctor to see if medication or lifestyle changes are necessary. You can also take a quic k and easy step to help improve your HDL cholesterol by using a fish oil supplement. Whichever route you choose to take, exercising some kind of active approach to improving your HDL cholesterol is very important if you’re in the intermediate range.
The Optimal (Normal) Range
If your HDL levels are above 60, then your are in the HDL cholesterol normal range. This is the desired range that you should aspire to be in as it will allot you with a significant decrease in developing cardiovascular disease.
Residing within the HDL cholesterol normal range is usually intimation that you have a diet that’s high in unsaturated fats (e.g. salmon, olive oil, etc.) and low in saturated fats (e.g. red meat, pork, etc.).
High HDL cholesterol levels means that your body is able to remove more harmful cholesterol from building up in your arteries. This allows blood flow to circulate through your cardiovascular system uninterrupted. Having high HDL cholesterol levels greatly decreases your risk for experiencing a heart attack or stroke.
Foods to raise HDL cholesterol
If your HDL cholesterol levels are abysmal, then you should considering implementing some foods that are high in unsaturated fats into your diet. These foods will help you to raise your HDL levels and lower your LDL levels. Thus, helping you to create a healthy environment for your heart.
Fish like salmon, herring, and trout are all excellent sources of unsaturated fats. However, not all fish is heart healthy. Shellfish like lobster, shrimp, and crabs, are all full of cholesterol with very little unsaturated fats in them. So, being selective of your choices is very important. Also, cooking with olive oil or vegetable oil is another heart healthy alternative to use instead of butter.
Other foods that will help with raising your HDL cholesterol are peanut butter, flax seeds, soy, dark chocolate, beans, red wine, oats, fruits, and vegetables to name a handful. All of these foods will help you to be in the HDL cholesterol normal range.
Other options that can help to increase your HDL cholesterol levels
Exercise can have a significant impact on lowering your total cholesterol levels. Exercising also contributes to increasing your HDL levels. Exercising on a quality treadmill or on a recumbent exercise bike can greatly help you to improve your cholesterol to get you in the HDL cholesterol normal range.
In addition, supplements like fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids are great for helping you to increase your HDL cholesterol and to lower your LDL cholesterol. Also, taking a fiber supplement can also improve your levels. Psyllium husk caps are a very effective supplement to help increase your soluble fiber intake. Fiber is a big reason as to why fruits and vegetables are so lucrative for improving your heart health.
Exercising, making healthy dietary habits, and taking heart healthy supplements like omega-3 softgels are all significant factors for allowing you to reach the HDL cholesterol normal range and to improve the overall health of your heart.