Top 5 Foods That Raise Your Good Cholesterol
HDL is the good cholesterol and you have to find ways to increase it. But why is it so? Well, let us find out!
HDL acts like a dump truck that gathers bad cholesterol from the arteries and carries it back to the liver to expel it out of the body. This protects the heart by slowing down the plaque build up in the arterial walls of the heart. HDL also has an anti-inflammatory effect that is beneficial to the heart. This is the reason why your HDL levels should be high so that your heart remains healthy.
What should the level of HDL be?
The American Heart Association, says that men should have HDL levels of 40 mg/dL or higher and women should have higher than 50 mg/dL. When levels of HDL are about 60 mg/dL or more for men and women, there is lower risk of heart disease. Genetics do effect your level of HDL but your lifestyle has a major role to play in it. You can fight your genes and improve your HDL levels with the help of the following foods:
Nuts are both a yummy and healthy. They are great sources of heart friendly fats. So, do add walnuts, peanuts, almonds, pecans, pistachios, peanuts, and hazelnuts in your diet. You can add them to your bowl of cereal, yoghurt, salad and stir fries. You can snack on a handful of them just like that too. They are convenient to carry around too!
Include fatty fish in your diet as they have a high content of omega 3 fatty acids. They are beneficial for heart health and reduce the risk of a heart attack. So, eat salmon, mackerel, tuna and other fatty fishes. It is said that you should have a minimum of 2 servings of fish in a week. However, if you don’t eat fish, you can always consume fish oil supplements, vegetarian sources such as flaxseed and walnuts too. But fish has a more usable form of omega 3.
Olive oil (extra virgin) is the healthiest fat. Being high in unsaturated fats, it helps increase your good cholesterol levels. Replace butter and fried stuff with foods that are lightly cooked in olive oil. You can drizzle extra virgin olive oil on your salad as a dressing. The oil is healthy but has a lot of calories so you need to control portions.
Avocado is a high fat fruit but the fat it contains is healthy, especially for the heart. You can mash avocado and use it as a spread on your toast have add it to your wrap. It can be diced and added to salads or enjoyed as guacamole!! Read more about avocado here!
Soluble fibre is known to increase your good cholesterol and reduces the bad one. Oatmeal being an excellent source of soluble fibre should be included in daily diet. Regular consumption of oats can have a positive effect on your good cholesterol.
Remember exercising too!
Along with foods that boost HDL, do not forget to exercise on a daily basis. When you exercise regularly, your body produces more HDL. So, physical activity is one of the essential factors that raise good cholesterol. Start exercising and gradually increase the number of minutes. Have a session of 30 mins, 5 days a week and your heart will thank you.
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