So what are your target numbers? According to Michos, an ideal LDL cholesterol level should be less than 70 mg/dl, and a woman's HDL cholesterol level ideally should be close to 50 mg/dl. Triglycerides should be less than 150 mg/dl. As Michos notes, total cholesterol levels well below 200 mg/dl are best.
As a general rule, HDL is considered “good” cholesterol, while LDL is considered “bad.” This is because HDL carries cholesterol to your liver, where it can be removed from your bloodstream before it builds up in your arteries. LDL, on the other hand, takes cholesterol directly to your arteries.
5 Ways to Raise Your HDL Cholesterol
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Results: After 6 weeks of extra egg consumption serum HDL cholesterol increased by 10% (P < 0.05) and total cholesterol increased 4% (P < 0.05), whereas the ratio total cholesterol/HDL cholesterol did not change significantly.
1. Walking raises your “good” cholesterol and lowers your “bad” cholesterol. A brisk 30-minute walk three times per week is enough to raise your “good” cholesterol (HDL) and lower your “bad” cholesterol (LDL) a few points. This amount of exercise, even without weight loss, is shown to improve your cholesterol levels.
Eating just one and one-half cups of cooked oatmeal a day can lower your cholesterol by 5 to 8%.
While not raising HDL levels directly, oatmeal lowers total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels even more, according to an American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine review, which in turn increases your HDL levels as a percentage of total cholesterol.
Avocados are a potent source of nutrients as well as monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). Research suggests that adding an avocado a day to a heart-healthy diet can help improve LDL cholesterol levels in people who are overweight or obese.
Replacing meats high in saturated fat with healthier options, like fish, is a smart tactic to improve cholesterol levels. Certain types of fish also provide heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Good choices include salmon, albacore tuna (fresh and canned), sardines, lake trout and mackerel.
 A number of human studies have shown that raw garlic favorably affects important risk factors for CVD. Consumption has been shown to decrease total and LDL-C and triglyceride levels. An intake of the half to one clove of garlic per day lowers cholesterol levels approximately 10%.
Intake of isolated fibers from citrus fruits has been shown to decrease blood cholesterol levels, and the essential oils in lemons can protect LDL (bad) cholesterol particles from becoming oxidized (23, 24).
Ginger. One 2014 study showed that ginger can lower your total cholesterol and triglycerides levels, while a study from 2008 showed that it can reduce LDL cholesterol levels and boost HDL cholesterol. You can add raw ginger to food, or take it as a supplement or powder.
A review of controlled trials found that turmeric or its active component curcumin can lower total cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL (Nutrition Journal, Oct. 11, 2017).
What are the warning signs of high cholesterol?
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There's little evidence that cinnamon can lower your cholesterol, so cinnamon isn't recommended to treat high cholesterol. Although some cholesterol-lowering effects have been seen in animal studies, there's little evidence that this applies to humans. Most of the trials have shown no effect on blood cholesterol.
Other herbal products: The results of several studies suggest fenugreek seeds and leaves, artichoke leaf extract, yarrow, and holy basil all may help lower cholesterol.
The bottom line: "No one has shown that drinking more water or fluid in general to improve day-to-day hydration status does anything to lower cholesterol levels and decrease your risk for cardiovascular disease," Sandon says.
Vitamin B3, or niacin, has been shown to increase levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or good, cholesterol, and decrease triglycerides. Niacin supplementation has been used since the 1950s as a treatment for high cholesterol.
Drinking plenty of water will keep your blood ways clean and eliminate excess buildup of cholesterol waste from the body. Drinking plenty of water will keep your blood ways clean! Moreover, drinking lots of water can improve your metabolic rate, which may help you lose weight.