Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Is your HDL helping or hurting your risk for Alzheimer’s disease?

You probably know that having high levels of HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol has been associated with a reduced risk for heart disease, but did you know that it may also reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s disease?

A study published in the December 2010 issue of the Archives of Neurology found that having high levels of HDL (defined as a level greater than 55) is associated with lower risk for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

This is great news! But what can you do if your HDL is low? Here are 5 very simple things you can do to increase your HDL, and they will boost your brain function at the same time. How cool is that?
  1. Get moving. Regular aerobic or interval exercise can increase your HDL in as little as two months. I recommend Burst Training, which is a form of interval training that is so simple anyone can do it. You can find a Sample Burst Training workout in my upcoming book The Amen Solution.
  2. Lose weight. Even dropping a few pounds has been shown to boost HDL levels. If you need help shedding the extra weight, then you’re going to love the new program I’m going to be introducing soon. It will hold your hand through the process and help you every step of the way.
  3. Quit smoking. Duh. Smoking lowers your HDL and constricts blood flow to the brain.
  4. Pump up your intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Eating more wild salmon, walnuts, DHA-enriched eggs, and avocados can increase HDL, as can taking an omega-3 supplement.
  5. Go low-glycemic. Eating too many refined carbohydrates and simple sugars can lower HDL. Stick with complex carbohydrates that are low-glycemic and high in fiber.
[from Amen Clinics

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