How to Change HDL and LDL Levels

The best way to change your low density lipoprotein, or LDL, and high density lipoprotein, or HDL, cholesterol levels is through diet and a regular aerobic fitness program. Exercise and diet will help you lose weight and keep HDL and LDL cholesterol levels at an optimal level. HDL, which is considered “good” cholesterol, should be at 60mg of cholesterol per deciliter of water, and LDL or “bad” cholesterol should remain under 100 mg per dL. Consult your doctor before making any dietary and lifestyle changes if you are under any type of medical treatment.


Step 1

Get your cholesterol tested to know where you stand in terms of your LDL and HDL cholesterol levels. You will need to perform the testing after nine to 12 hours of fasting from liquids, pills and food. If your results show that you are high in LDL and low in HDL cholesterol levels, you will need to change it with food and exercise.

Step 2

Limit your cholesterol intake to 200 to 300mg per day. To know the amount of cholesterol present in food, read the nutritional facts in the back of packaged food or consult a food reference book that will have nutritional information for loose food such as fruits, vegetables and nuts.

Step 3

Reduce the calories that derive from fat from your diet. This will include reducing your egg, oily salad dressing, cheese and whole milk from your diet. You can still consume nuts, especially macadamia nuts, which are thought to increase your HDL cholesterol levels by almost 8 percent when included in your diet, according to the United States Library of Medicine.

Step 4

Incorporate at least 25 minutes of aerobic exercise five days a week to help your body’s metabolism, lower your LDL cholesterol levels and help you lose weight. Aerobic exercise may include brisk walking, riding your bicycle, running, swimming and playing sports.



  • Have your cholesterol tested through your doctor, rather than a home test, so she can best advise you on how to read your results and make changes required for your specific health condition.


  • High levels of LDL cholesterol increase your chances for heart disease. See your doctor if you are unsuccessful in lowering these levels through diet and exercise so he can give you prescription medication for your cholesterol issues.

Photo Credits:

  • Macadamia Nuts and Shell image by MrGreenBug from

This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or