To increase good cholesterol levels, you don’t need to turn to any medicine or strict diets.
In reality, it’s probably hard for you to imagine the fact that there is something called good cholesterol. When we think about cholesterol, we automatically associate it with being bad for our health and that we should lower our levels by eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.
However, in reality, there is good cholesterol and you should even want to raise it.
Why increase your good cholesterol?
Before anything else, you should know that there are two types of cholesterol: the “bad,” or LDL, and the “good,” or HDL.
The latter circulates through the blood and is transported by high density lipoproteins. These lipoproteins pass through the arteries toward the liver and clean the tubes. This keeps fats from metabolizing.
Contrary to what happens with “bad” cholesterol, it’s important to keep your HDL levels elevated (no less than 40 mg/dl for men and 50 mg/dl for women).
If you eat an egg yolk, sausages or butter as well as animal products with saturated fats, you’ll be increasing your levels of bad cholesterol, not good. Trans fat even decreases HDL levels.
That’s why we don’t recommend that you eat pastries, french fries, processed foods, sweets or unhealthy snacks.
Instead, it’s a good idea to add foods to your diet that contain monounsaturated fatty acids like olive oil, nuts and avocado, for example. These increase good cholesterol levels in the blood.
Tips for increasing good cholesterol
We recommend that you eat the following foods to balance your levels of both types:
1. Foods rich in omega 3 and 6
Thanks to the fatty acids, your liver can produce prostaglandins. These are substances with a lot of properties (including anti inflammatory, vasodilators and anti thrombotic) that improve circulation and increase HDL cholesterol.
Among the foods rich in this nutrient you can find:
- Chia seeds
- Blue fish (salmon, sardines, mackerel, tuna)
It’s recommended that you eat these delicious and healthy foods between two and three times a week. Beans contain a lot of lecithin and omega 3 fatty acids.
They can be eaten many different ways, cold or hot, and accompanied with vegetables. The most recommended are:
- Garbanzo beans
- Black beans
Green and dark vegetables are the most recommended for increasing good cholesterol. Beta carotene, chlorophyll and, in many cases, glucosinolates (found in arugula) provide dozens of antioxidants.
Some of the vegetables that we recommend are:
First of all, it’s important to know that in order to get all of their nutrients and properties, it’s important that you do not fry them or add extra salt.
Nuts are delicious and are ideal for a snack in the morning or afternoon or whenever hunger strikes.
A handful of nuts a day is the most you should eat since they contain a lot of calories. The nuts that you should eat are:
5. Whole grains
Whole grains are healthier than refined (white) ones because they keep their properties. They also keep you full longer.
6. High-quality oils
It’s very important that you use cold pressure or “extra virgin” oils.
In addition to olive oil, you can also use hemp oil. However, it’s best to consume it before it reaches a certain temperature.
- We recommend that you use 1 teaspoon (5 grams) of cold-pressured wheat germ oil a day. This will give you a great dose of omega 3 and 6 and vitamin E (which works like a powerful fat antioxidant).
7. Condiments and dressings
Avocado isalso be a great option for increasing good cholesterol because of its essential oils. You can use it as a replacement for condiments like mayonnaise, or cut into slices and dressed with lemon juice for salads.
The best fruit for increasing your good cholesterol levels is fruit that that provides vitamin C.
So, you should include citric fruits in your diet starting with breakfast (a good orange juice is a fantastic way to start the day). Some options:
In addition to carrying out a good diet, it’s important to avoid anything in excess and unhealthy habits.