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Good Cholesterol Foods – Updated Article With New Information
Most of us are used to thinking that cholesterol is always bad and that we should minimize its intake as much as we can. This is only partly true, and it is only the case with triglycerides and LDL (low-density lipoprotein), which are the “bad” cholesterols. The “good” cholesterol is called HDL (high-density lipoprotein) and it is actually good for you. So, eating good cholesterol foods is a smart decision for your health. This literally involves eating the right kinds of fat.
25 percent of your daily calories should come from fat; yet a very small percentage of that should come from saturated fats. So, the HDL to LDL ratio should be quite high in your calorie intake. Saturated fats can be found in fried food, fast food, and junk food that is generally considered bad for you. Saturated fats make the LDL numbers higher. It is also a good idea to avoid trans fats. If the list of ingredients on a given product contains partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, that means you will be consuming trans fats. These are even worse, because they not only increase your LDL levels, but they also decrease your HDL, which drastically decreases the HDL to LDL ratio.
The two types of fats that good cholesterol foods contain are polyunsaturated and mono unsaturated fats. Both of them are mainly found in plant products. Monounsaturated fats can be found in good cholesterol foods like peanut, olive, and canola oils. Polyunsaturated fats are mainly derived from sunflower, corn, soybean, and fish oils. Another thing that will increase your HDL to LDL ratio is Omega-3 fatty acids. These can be found in a lot of popular fish, such as salmon and tuna. Even if you eat just a couple of servings of this fish per week, it will give you positive results in terms of decreasing your bad cholesterol. More good cholesterol foods to indulge in are soybean products, fish oil, and leafy greens.
You should steer clear of cooking oils that have high levels of trans fats and/or saturated fats, like palm oil, coconut oil, or shortening. Also, try to decrease your intake of commercially packaged foods, as they are usually high in trans fats. Saturated fats are also found in animal products, so in the case of dairy you should use the low fat version – 1 percent or lower. In addition, you should always cut off visible skins and fats from all meat products before consumption.
Besides food, there are other ways to increase your levels of “good” cholesterol. One is, of course, to quit smoking. The chemicals taken in by your body when you smoke are known to lower HDL levels. Quitting makes them increase by 10 percent. Another way to increase HDL levels is to lose weight. There is evidence that says your HDL levels go up by 1 mg/dL for every 6 pound of weight you lose.
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The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
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