Good Cholesterol Foods List – 10 Foods that Increase HDL Cholesterol!
When we think of good cholesterol foods, we typically think of those that will not contribute to an increase in cholesterol levels but help to lower them instead. However, that is only part of the equation. What often forgotten about is HDL (good) cholesterol. While it may not get the same famed status as the more sinister of the cholesterol types, HDL cholesterol is also very important. And, like LDL cholesterol, HDL levels can also be affected by dietary intake.
HDL is known as good cholesterol because it helps the body to reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in the bloodstream. This good cholesterol canvasses the blood pathways of the body and seeks out packs of LDL that may be adhering themselves to present arterial plaques and removes them, sending them off to be disposed of. Because HDL acts as the good cholesterol highway patrol, finding dietary ways to increase its level is also important. We have compiled a list of good cholesterol foods to consider in order to boost HDL levels naturally, each providing a delicious option to keeping cholesterol ratios in check.
1. Garlic: Few foods have as long a role in natural healing as garlic, which has been used medicinally for centuries for an incredibly wide variety of ails. But, with the recent interest in long term heart health, garlic’s role among good cholesterol foods has been more thoroughly studied. It is thought the compounds contained in garlic bulbs may be able to increase HDL cholesterol (the raw form is considered the superior method of consumption).
2. Seafood: The cholesterol in shrimp and other seafood has been long debated, which has earned shrimp a place among the ten most controversial foods. However, the sterols found in shrimp make its role in cholesterol elevation somewhat debatable. And, the cholesterol in fish and other seafood like mussels and clams may also be less relevant to bad LDL levels than it is to raising levels of HDL (good cholesterol) according to Dr. David Williams, who references a recent man seafood eating study that may give more credence to the relationship between fish oil and cholesterol and seafood in general. The study found that men who ate squid, mussels and oysters benefitted from increased levels of HDL, meaning that some sea fare may actually be good cholesterol foods after all, although more research is likely necessary.
3. Orange Juice: WebMD explains that although a few more calories will need to be consumed in order to reap orange juice’s ability to increase HDL cholesterol, the beverage may be worth it, as it has been shown in studies to boost HDL levels by as much as twenty percent over a period of less than one month.
4. Avocados: When it comes to sources of good fats (monounsaturated to be specific) few foods are as abundant as the avocado, which gets far less credit for having purposes other than guacamole than it deserves. In addition to being one of few good fat sources, avocados are also thought to have a positive effect on HDL cholesterol levels.
5. Legumes: Whether soybeans, peas, lentils or beans, legumes are an important part to many healthy diets. But, they are also considered good cholesterol foods too. Because they are chock full of soluble fiber, which is known to have a positive effect on HDL cholesterol numbers, they can be easily included into diets geared towards getting good cholesterol levels where they need to be.
6. Niacin Rich Foods: Niacin is used medicinally in order to raise HDL levels, lower LDL levels and also the levels of triglycerides. However, niacin can be picked up in many of the foods that we eat every day too. While it is unlikely that you can gobble up enough niacin from your daily intake to match that provided in medicine, edibles high in niacin are still considered good cholesterol foods. One low calorie option to consider is chicken breast, an incredibly versatile meat. Not only is it itself a good choice thanks to a healthy dose of niacin, it can also be used in low cholesterol chicken recipes for an even more profound effect. When combined with other niacin rich foods like crimini mushrooms, the cholesterol benefit achieved can be compounded. And, crusting it in mainstays of a cholesterol diet like crushed almonds can provide even more impact too.
7. Alcohol: No diet is going to encourage the overuse of alcohol as doing so can have severely negative physiological implications. However, studies have shown that having a glass of red wine each day can actually have a positive effect on HDL cholesterol levels.
8. Dark Chocolate: Few good cholesterol foods are likely to be as popular as dark chocolate, whose HDL raising benefits provide a green light to enjoy a delicious and sinful treat. It is likely the antioxidants contained in dark chocolate that are responsible for these cholesterol benefits. Healthcentral.com notes that 70% cocoa or above is ideal for the most HDL raising advantage.
9. Green Tea: Green tea has been associated with everything from curing diseases to weight loss, but it may also be a contender among good cholesterol foods. However, while the HDL raising benefits of green tea have been documented in studies, that multiple cups of brewed tea daily are required in order to provide any noticeable HDL increasing effects.
10. Artichokes: Artichokes have numerous benefits in terms of bringing cholesterol levels into balance, as they contain compounds that not only reduce LDL levels, but also increase HDL levels and reduce the amount of plaque that may build up in the arteries. In fact, for the last forty years, clinical studies have proven the positive effects that artichokes have on cholesterol levels.