HDL 'Good' Cholesterol (HDL) Testing
How to check your HDL 'Good' Cholesterol levels with a home fingerprick blood test kit
What Is A HDL 'Good' Cholesterol Test For?
A HDL 'Good' Cholesterol test is also known as a High Density Lipoprotein or HDL-C test.
The HDL 'Good' Cholesterol (HDL) Test allows you to accurately check your levels of HDL 'Good' Cholesterol in a fingerprick blood sample.
Good Cholesterol (HDL) is a waxy substance present in your blood. Studies show that Good Cholesterol plays a role in removing Bad Cholesterol (LDL) from your arteries.
HDL carries this cholesterol to the liver where it can be removed from the body. So high levels of Good Cholesterol may reduce the risk from heart attack and stroke.
Conversely low levels of Good Cholesterol are linked with an increased risk of heart disease.
What If HDL 'Good' Cholesterol Test Levels Are High?
Experts at HEART UK state that "the protective effect of HDL appears to reach its maximum when levels are around 1.5mmol/L".
So increased levels of HDL above this level may not provide further protection against 'bad' cholesterol.
What If HDL 'Good' Cholesterol Test Levels Are Low?
HDL cholesterol carries cholesterol away from your artery walls, so higher levels are better. The higher your HDL cholesterol level, the lower your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Lack of exercise, smoking and high alcohol consumption can reduce your HDL cholesterol. It can also be temporarily lowered during sudden illness, or recovering from surgery or an accident.
Increasing your HDL is recommended - the higher the better.
This can be achieved through losing weight, avoiding smoking, exercising more and maintaining a healthy diet. Low-carb and ketogenic diets have been shown to increase HDL cholesterol.
- HDL levels can be increased, and triglycerides decreased, through increased physical activity. Just an hour of moderate aerobic exercise a week can make a significant difference.
- Trans fats should be avoided in your diet where possible. Trans fats increase bad cholesterol (LDL) and reduce good cholesterol (HDL) levels. This means reducing your intake of most fried foods as well as baked goods such as cakes, pie crusts, biscuits, frozen pizza etc.
- Reducing dietary saturated fat can also be beneficial, for example by lowering your intake of full-fat dairy products and choosing leaner cuts of meat. A diet which emphasises fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish and nuts is recommended.
- If you smoke, please try to stop! Smoking tobacco increases bad cholesterol (LDL) and reduces good cholesterol (HDL levels), particularly in women. Smoking can also increase your triglyceride blood levels.
- Moderate alcohol use can actually help raise your HDL levels, but if you don't drink, don't start. Drinking too much alcohol can lead to weight gain, and as a result may increase blood pressure and triglyceride levels, both of which increase your risk from cardiovascular conditions.
How To Test HDL 'Good' Cholesterol?
You can check your HDL 'Good' Cholesterol levels by buying a home fingerprick blood test kit from just £69 using the following test kits: