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8 Best Foods To Increase Your Good Cholesterol Levels

Good cholesterol is necessary for your body. It eliminates the bad cholesterol from the body, thereby reducing the risk of heart diseases.

8 Best Foods To Increase Your Good Cholesterol Levels

Good cholesterol levels prevents plaque buildup in the arteries

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Good cholesterol is necessary for your body
  2. The HDL prevents plaque buildup in the arteries and sends it to the liver
  3. Nuts keep your HDL levels high, thereby protecting heart health

The word cholesterol would typically remind you of a person complaining of high cholesterol and heart disease. Well, cholesterol is not all bad. Broadly, there are two types of cholesterol; bad cholesterol (Low-density lipoprotein or LDL) and good cholesterol (High-density lipoprotein or HDL). The bad cholesterol is what increases the risk of heart diseases. Good cholesterol, on the other hand, is necessary for your body. It eliminates the bad cholesterol from the body, thereby reducing the risk of heart diseases.

The HDL prevents plaque buildup in the arteries and sends it to the liver. The liver processes it and eliminates it from the body. Therefore, good cholesterol levels are very crucial for your overall health. Now when it comes to increasing your HDL levels, food plays a very crucial role. Just like cheese, butter, red meat and other sources of unhealthy saturated fats increase your LDL levels; some foods can boost your HDL levels.

Also read: Here's How Low Cholesterol Can Harm Your Overall Health

Here's a list of 8 best foods which will help you increase your good cholesterol, and keep your heart in a good state of health.

1. Olive oil

There is a reason why nutritionists say that you must cook your food in olive oil. This oil is high in HDL levels and effectively lowers the inflammatory effects of LDL levels. You can start with extra-virgin olive oil for your food. Use it as a dressing for your salads; you could also chop some fresh olives on your food.

olive oil

Photo Credit: iStock

2. Fish

Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel, and trout are rich in omega 3 fatty acids and increase your HDL levels. Eat these twice a week to get access to their health benefits. You could also use fish oil supplements but they may not be as effective as the natural source.

3. Avocado

The slightly sour fruit is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids folate which increases your HDL levels naturally. You could drink as an avocado smoothie or include it in your sandwiches and soups.

avocado

Photo Credit: iStock

4. Red wine

Not all forms of alcohol are a health hazard if taken in the appropriate quantities. So is the case with red wine; two glasses of wine once in a while can be beneficial for your heart health. This drink has the ability to increase your good cholesterol levels considerably. Two glasses a day for men and one glass a day for women should suffice.

red wine
 
Also read: The Best Diet Plans To Reduce Your Cholesterol Today

5. Nuts

Nuts are another good source of omega 3 fatty acids. They keep your HDL levels high, thereby protecting heart health. Almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans and peanuts are the best nuts for your heart. Just a handful of them should suffice. You can snack on these nuts between your meals.
nuts and seeds for heart health

Photo Credit: iStock

6. Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds are also a great way to keep your HDL levels high. They are also a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids. These seeds are not broken down by the body as a whole so you must consume them in the ground form or in the form of oil.

flaxseeds

Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: 
Can Eating Eggs Raise Your Cholesterol Levels?

7. High-fiber fruits

High-fiber fruits like apples and prunes are a great way to keep your good cholesterol levels high. Eat the whole fruit, add them to salads or drink them in the form of a smoothie to maximize its benefits for your heart.

apple

Photo Credit: iStock

8. Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate lovers here is another good reason for you to relish another piece. Research shows that eating dark chocolate can increase your good cholesterol levels by 9%.

chocolate
 
Also read: Suffering From High Cholesterol? Follow This Diet

Disclaimer: This content including advice providesgeneric information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information. 

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