Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How can I increase my good cholesterol?"
My doctor said that my good cholesterol is low but I am a healthy 25 year old male. I eat well, I exercise, I do everything right and don't smoke or drink either. Why is my good cholesterol low and how can I increase it in a safe way?
First of all, congratulations on keeping up with your regular annual check ups with your primary care doctor! These are a great way to have basic blood work done and help find out if there are any areas of your health that you need to work on. From what you are telling me, it sounds like you are already doing a pretty good job at protecting your health! Regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding alcohol and tobacco are all very important steps! Unfortunately, even when a person does all of these things (all of which should raise the good cholesterol levels), sometimes the good cholesterol stays low. This is because good cholesterol levels are very strongly determined by genetics and, therefore, it is not always possible to raise them. There are some additional food types that have been shown to have some small effects on raising good cholesterol. These include more unsaturated fats, fish and fish oil, and dietary fiber. You could try raising the percentage of these foods that you are eating. These are options you should discuss with your primary care doctor. He or she can keep an eye on your cholesterol levels over time. Good luck!
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