Why Is My HDL Still Low?

Hello and Happy First Day of Spring!!! This week so far has been pretty gloomy and cloudy, but the weather people swear we will see the sun today. Surely hoping they are right! Hope to see these signs of spring soon:

Signs of Spring

So, I got my blood work results back from the doctor. These were the notes they listed for me:

Test Results

As you can see, everything with the exception of my HDL being low looks great. Their recommendation for my HDL being low – increase my exercising daily. This is one of the problems with healthcare today. A generic recommendation with no specific instructions. And no realization that I currently AM exercising.

I am averaging 300-400 minutes of activity per week. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of intense exercise (or a combination). Safe to say, I am meeting and exceeding that goal.

I wrote this post called 10 ways to raise your hdl last year when my blood work came back. This year I am doing a little more research. I can only say I have read a lot of articles and am more confused than ever. My HDL isn’t as low as most when doctors become concerned. It is actually exactly where it was last year (and I have been exercising more since that time).

Looking over the 10 ways, let’s see where I am…

1. Exercise. Most articles I saw mentioned 30 minutes of walking a day and 2-3 more intense workouts throughout the week.

As I mentioned above, I am averaging 300-400 minutes of activity a week. I am not sure at this point that this is my problem and I am certainly not ready to increase that amount yet.

2. Lose Weight. I definitely intend to do this. For every 6.6 pounds lost, your HDL goes up a point.

I lost 10 pounds last year which means my HDL should have gone up at least a point. It did not. Obviously I still working on losing weight/fat.

3. Choose better fats. Replace saturated and trans fats with monounsaturated fats. This will not only help reduce levels of “bad” cholesterol, it may also increase levels of “good” cholesterol. Monounsaturated fats such as canola oil, avocado oil, or olive oil and in the fats found in peanut butter can increase HDL cholesterol levels without increasing the total cholesterol.

I try my best to choose good fats. We use olive oil when cooking and I eat peanut butter 3-4 times per week.

4. Alcohol in moderation. Almost every article I found mentioned this, which was kind of surprising. They did say only 1 glass per day for females and 2 per day for males. While one mentioned red wine, most mentioned alcohol in general.

I maybe have 2 drinks a MONTH. I cannot imagine that increasing my alcohol consumption will solve this problem.

5. Stop smoking.

I have never smoked – not a factor.

6. Opt for more Omega-3s.

I started taking fish oil supplements last year. I have changed the kind I am taking at least once. I am actually going to try a new kind that a company has offered to let me test. We shall see. I also eat a lot of seafood.

7. Eat less sugar. Essentially cutting back on simple carbohydrates – cakes, cookies, high sugar cereals, processed foods, etc.

I could do better at this. I am doing better, but not as well as I should be.

8. Drink orange juice or cranberry juice.

I have orange mango juice maybe once a week. Rarely drink cranberry juice.

9. Add soluble fiber. Essentially eat more fruits and vegetables.

I eat a lot of fruit. I could definitely stand to add more veggies.

10. Take a calcium supplement.

I started taking a calcium supplement when my results came back last year.

So, for now, I am going to concentrate on continuing my activity, making better food choices, and trying to lose weight/fat. I am not going to make a special appointment to see the doctor about this, but will ask her next time I go.

When was the last time you had blood work done? Are there any categories you are working to raise/lower?

Have a healthy day!


4 Responses to “Why Is My HDL Still Low?”

  1. number five is one which always surprises me too.
    I THINK I GET SO MUCH (I swear it seems my diet be fiber’iffic) and yet I NEED MO’.

  2. For someone with type 1 diabetes, A1C is my constant challenge. When working with clients I would rather be a little high than go low with my blood sugar. So I flirt with that magic 7.0 number the ADA recommends. It’s a never ending battle.

    • Glenneth

      Thanks for the recommendation. I have added that to my wish list on Amazon!