University of Illinois Extension
 

What is HDL-cholesterol: The 'Good' Cholesterol

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Some research indicates that HDL-cholesterol carries cholesterol away from the bloodstream and back to the liver, where it is passed out of the body. A high level of HDL seems to protect against cardiovascular disease, and a low level indicates a greater risk. HDL-cholesterol levels range from 40 to 50 mg/dl in the average man; from 50 to 60 mg/dl in the average woman. HDL-cholesterol less than 40 mg/dl is considered low and HDL-cholesterol greater than 60 mg/dl is desirable.

To achieve healthful HDL levels:

  • Participate in regular aerobic exercise such as walking, biking, swimming, or jogging
  • Quit smoking
  • Lose weight if you are overweight, and maintain a healthy body weight

jogging ladies

Back to: Eating for Cardiovascular Health

This document is a source of information only, and is not medical advice.