High density lipoproteins, also known as good cholesterol (HDL), are fatty substances that help remove any excess bad cholesterol (LDL) that has built up in your arteries.
In this article, you’ll learn how to increase good cholesterol.
This type of cholesterol is rich in phospholipids, which attract particles of fat and cholesterol in your arteries and prevent the formation of damaging plaque.
Recommended levels of good cholesterol are between 40 and 60 mg/dl. Unlike other lipids, this type of cholesterol doesn’t pose a health risk if you exceed that amount.
What are the benefits of good cholesterol?
Getting plenty of good cholesterol in your diet can have important benefits for your cardiovascular health.
Some of the main advantages include the fact that it:
- Helps remove bad cholesterol (LDL) that builds up in the arteries.
- Fights atherosclerosis.
- Prevents heart disease.
- Prevents heart attacks and strokes.
- Enables your body to produce vitamin D and bile. Bile facilitates the digestion of the food you eat.
Read also: 6 surprising foods with bad cholesterol
Foods that increase good cholesterol (HDL)
Overall, eating foods that are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids can help increase your levels of good cholesterol (HDL) and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Before we tell you what foods they are, however, it’s important to note that you may need to make some changes to your diet. This is especially true if you already eat a lot of foods that are high in trans fats and cholesterol.
Without further ado, here are some foods that can help:
1-NutsWalnuts, almonds, and other varieties of nuts contain moderate doses of omega-3 fatty acids and dietary fiber, two key nutrients that increase and improve your absorption of good cholesterol (HDL).
- It’s a good idea to eat around seven nuts a day, either plain as a snack or added to your breakfast.
First of all, healthy legumes like lentils, chickpeas, and beans have a high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids and lecithin. These increase good cholesterol and decrease bad cholesterol.
- Ideally, you should add them to your diet three times a week. However, you can consume legumes in small portions every day.
3-Olive oilNext, extra virgin olive oil that has not be subjected to refining processes contains monounsaturated fatty acids that help control your cholesterol levels.
Its compounds prevent the oxidation of lipids in your arteries and improve the production of good cholesterol to prevent plaque build up.
- Two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil a day are enough to get the benefits.
- You can consume it alone, with some lemon juice, or added to a recipe.
Vegetables in general have beneficial effects when it comes to increasing good cholesterol levels. However, carrots stand out thanks to their beta-carotene, fiber, vitamin and mineral content.
Overall, these nutrients help cleanse your bloodstream and promote the transport of bad cholesterol from your tissues to the liver. Thus, this facilitates its removal.
- You can add carrots to salads, juices, or smoothies.
- It’s best to eat carrots at least three times a week.
5-AvocadoThe nutrients contained in avocados are excellent for your cardiovascular health.
There are omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, vitamin E, and amino acids that work together to improve the function of your liver. Plus, they optimize the use of good cholesterol in your bloodstream.
Regular consumption of avocados improves your production of prostaglandins. These are substances that have vasodilator and anti-inflammatory effects to improve your circulation.
- You can eat an avocado alone or added to salads and smoothies.
- For best results, add avocado to your diet at least three times a week.
Next, whole grain cereals have large amounts of fiber, fatty acids, and antioxidants that help keep your cholesterol levels within a healthy range.
Oats, brown rice, and rye flour promote an increase in good cholesterol and help your body eliminate bad cholesterol and triglycerides.
- We recommend you consume these grains every day as part of a main meal or as a snack.
Are you concerned about your cardiovascular health? Do you want to keep your cholesterol levels under control?
Remember that in addition to eating these foods to increase good cholesterol levels, you should also avoid any refined and processed foods, as well as any foods that will increase your bad cholesterol levels.