How Do You Change Your LDL and HDL Ratio?


Quick Answer

The LDL-to-HDL ratio can be changed by quitting smoking, losing weight and choosing healthier fats. The optimal ratio for high-density lipoprotein, or good cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein, or bad cholesterol, is 5 to 1 or lower, states both Mayo Clinic and the American Heart Association.

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Full Answer

High-density lipoprotein, such as omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, can be found in foods such as olive oil, whole grains, nuts and fish. Saturated and trans fats, two types of low-density lipoproteins, are harmful to the body in excessive quantities. These can cause blood vessel damage and increase the risk of heart disease. Low-density lipoproteins are found in some fast foods, palm oil, fatty meats and processed cheese. LDL-containing foods should be eaten only sparingly, according to Mayo Clinic.

In addition, behavioral interventions can help reduce LDL and change the HDL-to-LDL ratio. Quitting smoking alone can increase HDL cholesterol in the body by up to 10 percent. Losing weight is another way to improve the HDL-to-LDL ratio. For every 6 pounds lost, HDL may increase by 1 milligram per deciliter, Mayo Clinic affirms. Finally, drinking alcohol in moderation is another way to improve the HDL-to-LDL ratio. Limiting alcohol intake to one standard drink per day can help increase HDL levels in the body.

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