People with high levels of HDL (good) cholesterol are less likely to develop heart disease than those with low HDL. So far, though, the evidence is iffy on whether it's a good idea to use medication to boost a low HDL level. While scientists figure out whether raising HDL with drugs is warranted, it's still a good idea to pay attention to HDL. If it’s on the low side, increasing exercise, quitting smoking, losing weight, and eating a vegetable-rich diet can raise it—do other good things for the heart and the rest of the body. Targeting harmful LDL still provides the most heart healthy bang for the buck.
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