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Good Cholesterol Foods

Good Cholesterol Foods

    • Your cholesterol reading depends on your HDL cholesterol levels (good cholesterol) and your LDL cholesterol levels (bad cholesterol). It’s important to have higher HDL than LDL in order to maintain healthy cholesterol levels
    • Making sure to watch what types of fats are in your diet, specifically making sure to avoid trans fat, is one way of helping promote good cholesterol
    • Doing regular cardiovascular exercises, eating a low cholesterol diet and quitting, or never taking up smoking, are other ways of steering clear of bad cholesterol




If you’ve recently had your cholesterol levels measured, you may have been told by your physician to raise your HDL levels. Most of us have gone our whole lives being told less cholesterol is better but that’s only the case with LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and triglycerides. The third component of your cholesterol numbers is HDL (high-density lipoprotein) and can actually be good for your health. So boosting those numbers is going to be a smart decision. One way to do this is by looking for “good” cholesterol foods.

Eating Your Way to High HDL

Although most of the cholesterol and diet research has focused on LDLs, some information is available that can help you tweak your diet in order to boost the HDL as well. One way is by choosing the right types of fat for your diet.

While you don’t want to overindulge in the fats, your body does need some. Most of us just eat way too much. About one-fourth of all your calories in a day should come from fat but only a fraction of that amount should be derived from saturated fats. These are the nasty fats you find in fast foods, fried foods, and other bad for you products. will increase your LDL numbers.

You also want to steer clear of trans fats. If the ingredient list includes partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, you’re going to be eating trans fats. These are bad because not only will they boost LDL but also lower HDL. That’s the opposite of what you’re wanting!

Instead, you want to look for two other types of fats: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. You’ll find these in olive or canola oils, as well as some types of fish and nuts. Avocados are also a good source of monounsaturated fats, too.

Eating more foods that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids can also help your HDL to LDL ratio improve. These fatty acids can be found in a wide-range of popular fish, including tuna and salmon. Eating servings of these fish a couple times a week can have positive effects on your cholesterol numbers. Other “good” cholesterol foods include fish oil, soybean products, and leafy green vegetables.

Of course, there is more than just eating “good” cholesterol foods that can help your HDL numbers.

Other Ways to Pump Up Your HDL

One of the best ways is to exercise. Research reported by the Mayo Clinic has shown that if you frequently engage in aerobic exercise (walking, running, stair climbing, etc.) for about 30 minutes five days a week you can increase your HDL by 5% within just two months. And that’s without eating any “good” cholesterol foods so combining the two is definitely going to raise your numbers.

If you’re a smoker, you can increase your good cholesterol just by quitting. The chemicals your body takes in when you smoke actually lower HDL. If you quit, your HDL can go up by about 10%. Losing weight is also another way to increase your good cholesterol. Evidence has shown that you’re going to increase good cholesterol in your body by 1 mg/dL every time you lose six pounds of body weight. Eating “good” cholesterol foods can also help you drop those pounds more quickly.

The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.

One Response to “Good Cholesterol Foods”

  1. 1
    Graham Says:
    Basically, everrything just boils down to 3 things: eating a healthy diet, exercising, and quitting smoking. That seems to be the answer to just about all of our body's problems. So, why don't more of us do it? Why do we continue to be lazy couch potatoes, indulging in junk food and smoking while we're at it?