Cholesterol is not often equated with good things. But we would all do well to remember that there are two varieties of cholesterol. There is LDL, the “bad” kind, the reason many of us purchase cholesterol-free foods. And there is HDL — the “good” one, which is very important in its own right.

Study after study has found that increasing one’s HDL levels could, in itself, reduce the risk of heart disease. That goes for anyone at all, even those with no history of heart issues. Study after study over the past few decades has revealed that HDL cholesterol could help shield the body from heart attack, stroke and heart failure. The equation that seems to occur is: the higher the HDL levels, the greater the heart protection. And the lower the HDL levels, the more likely it is that you may suffer a cardiovascular event.

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