Raising HDL cholesterol levels requires changes such as quitting smoking, dropping pounds, exercising regularly, moderating alcohol consumption and eating healthier fats, notes Mayo Clinic. As HDL cholesterol quantity increases, LDL cholesterol decreases, as the HDL cholesterol pulls the LDL variety out of the arteries and takes it to the liver.
For people who smoke, the act of quitting boosts HDL cholesterol levels by as much as 10 percent. Nicotine is one of the most difficult addictions to break, but trying multiple strategies at once can help banish the habit for good. Losing weight is another helpful strategy, as people who lose 6 pounds see HDL go up by 1 milligram per deciliter, as stated by Mayo Clinic.
Sedentary adults who are otherwise healthy boost their HDL cholesterol levels by as much as 5 percent within two months of starting an exercise routine that involves 30 minutes of brisk activity at least five times a week. Walking, swimming, cycling, shoveling snow and playing racquetball are just some activities that can boost the heart rate, according to Mayo Clinic.
While every diet needs to include some fat, choosing healthy fats is key to elevating HDL cholesterol counts. Cooking food in olive and canola oils adds polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which support the work HDL cholesterol does to fight inflammation. Adding fatty fish and nuts with omega-3 fatty acids improves the ratio of LDL to HDL cholesterol as well, states the Mayo Clinic.