How do you increase your HDL?

I got my cholesterol tests back today and wasn’t impressed with the results. In November my HDL was .81 and last week it was .82. IT is supposed to be greater than 1.1. Just wondering if anyone has any ways of increasing HDL. I already eat fish 4 times a week, exercise every day, take fish oil - omega 3, and I’ve lost 110 lbs. I’m just not sure what else I can do…

Well, here are my suggestions. Eat more good fats, particularly saturated. I take 8-10 fish oil caps a day. Don’t just exercise, do aggressive weight training. If you are taking a statin, stop that. And the final step, even if it won’t always work, you will at least feel better, have two glasses of dry red wine a day.

To add to bsc’s suggestions: reduce (or eliminate) trans fatty acids (these are found in processed foods), Add soluble fiber to your diet (oats, legumes, veggies). Red wine, dark chocolate (cocoa), green tea, and vitamin D.

Thyroid problems play havoc with blood lipids & is unfortunately common in diabetics & in women in general. If you haven’t had one done recently, a thyroid panel is good to have checked regularly. Make sure it’s a free T3 & free T4, not just TSH.

A test to check Vit D level is important also. Vit D3 (oil based) is the form needed for supplementation.


Sounds like you are eating a typical ADA diet, high in carbs. If so, cut the carbs…which you should do anyway being a diabetic and increase saturated fats.

Also, if you are eating any hydrogenated veggie oils… cut those out as well.

I’m doing low carb. I read Dr. Bernstein Diabetes Solution at Christmas and have been following that and just started doing the Rosedale diet so still keeping it low carb but watching not to eat too much protein and doing high fat so I eat a lot of avocado, olives, salmon, nuts etc. I like the red wine idea. I do some weight training but probably could do some more. I do a lot of biking outside, running, spinning classes and some weight training classes but I will try to do more. I was on crestor but just recently took myself off it. I see the endo next week. I’m sure she is going to say go back on. Because my HDL is terrible my ratio is bad as well. Luckily my trigycerides went down so that is good sand my A1C was 5.3.

I always thought and believe saturated fats to be potentially nasty:

Some think saturated fats do not do you harm… Although researchers have tried to prove that saturated fat is bad for you, they have failed time after time. Which isn’t to say saturated fat is good for you ??. If you want fat that is good for you, try monounsaturated fat found in olive oil.

Although some think it is still OK: SINCE No one’s ever proved it

one thing if for sure : skip the trans fats!

Exercise does it for me.

vitamin b3 is shown to raise hdl and lower ldl…i just started on it recently and haven’t retested my cholesterol yet. it raises my gl, but im getting a handle on how to cover it effectively.

My husband lowered his total # (not sure about HDL/LDL ratio,) by switching from fish oil to Krill oil. Based on things he’s read (he’s in the supplement industry,) he wants me to get off Lipitor and has me taking it as well. Maybe you could do a little Googling on Krill.

bsc…what do you know about statins…I have heard some scary stuff.

While statins will reduce your LDL, they often have a “negative” effect on HDL, markedly lowering your HDL. That is exactly the opposite of what you want. There is quite a bit of evidence on this, and most doctors know this but are obscenely focused on lowering LDL.

If you want further scary stuff on statins, let me know, my experience was “nearly tragic.”

More exercise (you may need to increase your intensity) and monounsaturated fats.

My HDL is fine… my LDL is a little high, but my VLDL is very low… I really think I’m okay, but my doctor keeps insisting I start on a statin… so far I haven’t.

Ei Yi Yi…hope you are OK, now. Feel free to elaborate…

I guess I’m the poster boy for low/moderate fat, moderate protein, moderate carb, regular exercise (30 min aerobic/cardio, 1 hour weightlifing, 5 days a week).

Trigly 31
Total Chol 131
HDL 53
LDL 68
Est VLDL 6
Risk ratio 2.4

Still trying to raise HDL so I’m trying a glass of wine after dinner. Screwing with my evening BGs though so we’ll see what happens with my next liped panel.

I seem to have pretty good HDL. My last test was HDL- 89, LDL 98 TRIGS 96. My trick is moderate exercise, very low carb diet, lots of fat, esp nuts. I don’t shy away from meat- bacon, sausage, etc. I also eat tons of flaxseed meal in homemade muffins and breads instead of grains. Also a glass of red wine at night will raise HDL.