The news about good cholesterol—the high-density kind, aka HDL—just got better.
Experts already know that it helps protect against heart disease; now an analysis of 24 studies shows that the higher your HDL level, the lower your risk of cancer.
Researchers can’t be sure that HDL itself is warding off the disease, since high levels might signal a lifestyle that reduces your risk in some other way. But there’s no downside in boosting your levels—and there are many potential benefits.
To raise your HDL cholesterol
- Get regular aerobic exercise.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Include lots of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet (fish is the best source).
- Have an occasional drink if you’re so inclined (alcohol in moderation raises HDL).
- If you smoke, quit.