Regular aerobic exercise does tend to raise HDL "good" cholesterol levels. It also lowers triglyceride levels, especially if you’ve been shedding excess weight. This is particularly true for people with insulin resistance (those with the Metabolic Syndrome or Type 2 diabetes).
But don’t expect regular exercise to budge your total and LDL "bad" cholesterol levels very much. They may fall slightly, particularly if you’re getting thinner.
Far better than exercise at lowering total and LDL cholesterol levels is an eating plan very low in fat (especially saturated and trans fats) and cholesterol and high in unprocessed whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans.
All beans, including pinto beans, black beans, lentils, red beans, and soybeans, are a healthy, protein-packed, and saturated-fat-free alternative to meat or poultry. Beans help lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, blood sugar, and insulin levels, and may even lower cancer risk.
When choosing products made from soybeans, stick to:
- Soybeans (easily available in most grocery store freezer sections),
- Soymilk – vanilla, original, or unsweetened, or
- Tofu – unflavored/unmarinated (found in refrigerator cases)
All the above are great choices for your cholesterol profile and your waistline.