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8 foods to increase ‘good’ cholesterol

When you think of

cholesterol, you probably think of it as “bad” or “high” . However, there is also a “good” type of cholesterol your body needs .

High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is a type of good cholesterol. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is the type of bad cholesterol you want to keep in check. HDL, LDL, and triglycerides, a type of fat carried in the blood, make up total cholesterol levels.

HDL is like a vacuum cleaner for cholesterol in the body. When it’s at healthy levels in your blood, it removes extra cholesterol and plaque buildup from your arteries and then sends it to your liver. Your liver removes it from your body. Ultimately, this helps reduce the risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.

So what foods should you eat to raise your HDL ratio in relation to total cholesterol?

Oil fish

Omega 3 fatty acids found in oily fish reduce the LDL rate in the blood. By consuming fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and sardines at least 2 days a week, you can lower the LDL levels in the blood. If you don’t like fish, you can use omega 3 supplements. But keep in mind that supplements may not replace dietary omega-3s.

Chia and flaxseeds

Chia and flaxseeds are a good plant source of omega 3s. In addition, both contain high amounts of fiber. Chia and flax seeds can help lower LDL levels and blood pressure.

You can easily use chia and flax seeds in cereal, oatmeal, salad, yogurt or smoothies. Also, due to their increasing popularity today, many products on the market contain chia or flax seeds.


Avocados, which have recently become the most popular fruit in the nutrition world, are rich in folate and monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fats lower LDL and reduce the risk of heart disease. Avocados are packed with fiber that helps keep cholesterol in check.

You can easily include it in your diet by adding avocado slices to salads, soups or sandwiches.


Fruits containing high fiber such as apples, pears, carrots, plums can lower LDL levels and increase HDL levels. You can create a delicious snack by mixing cereals or oatmeal with fruits.

Olive oil

The healthy type of fat found in olive oil can reduce the bad effects of LDL cholesterol on your body. Extra virgin olive oil breaks down at high temperatures. Use extra virgin olive oil when cooking at low temperatures.

Use extra virgin olive oil in salad dressings and to flavor foods after cooking. Sprinkle chopped olives on salads or add them to soups.

Whole grains

Whole grains can lower your LDL and total cholesterol. This increases HDL levels. Whole grains contain high levels of soluble fiber, which allows it to lower LDL. Consume at least two servings of whole grains or whole grains a day. This can be as simple as eating a comforting oatmeal for breakfast and an adequate and balanced amount of whole grain bread for lunch and dinner.


Nuts, including almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, peanuts, and others, are loaded with heart-healthy fats . Nuts are high in fiber and contain a substance called plant sterols. Plant sterols inhibit cholesterol absorption.

You can consume nuts in your snacks or add them to your main meals. The most important point to note is to stay away from processed nuts.


Like whole grains, dried legumes are also a good source of soluble fiber. Dry beans, peas, kidney beans, lentils, etc. Legumes are also rich in protein. It is better to consume it fresh rather than canned. Because the nutritional value of canned food can decrease. For example, canned beans contain half as much folate as regular beans. Folate is an important B vitamin for heart health.

Dyt. Serkan Sıtkı Şahin

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