While there is always a lot of focus of lowering your bad cholesterol, keeping your good cholesterol up is equally as important. Eating these foods can help boost your HDL.
HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol is known as “good cholesterol” and high levels are the goal, unlike LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, which is “bad cholesterol” and needs to be kept at bay. HDL travels through the bloodstream and removes bad cholesterol, therefore reducing the risk of heart disease. By losing a little weight, exercising 30 minutes a day and maintaining a healthy diet high in certain foods, you can increase your HDL levels.
I’ll drink to that: Read about how small amounts of alcohol can raise HDL >>
Choose healthy fats
The term “healthy fats” may sound contradictory, but the right fats actually help your cholesterol levels. Avoid trans and saturated fats and replace them with the healthier monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in olive oil, canola oil and peanut oil. Avocados are another good source of healthy fat… that makes a bowl of guacamole practically health food, doesn’t it?
Whip up a delicious avocado crabcakes appetizer >>
Omega-3 fatty acids
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids are key to helping your cholesterol levels. Fish, specifically salmon and tuna, are perfect choices for a meal full of omega-3s. Additionally, taking a fish oil supplement can help ensure that you’re getting a full dose of this important fat.
Dinner tonight: Try this walnut-crusted salmon for a healthy entree >>
Nuts are the perfect heart-healthy snack that can have a good effect on your cholesterol levels. Instead of reaching for those greasy potato chips next time, grab a handful of almonds, peanuts, walnuts or pecans. Try to work more nuts into your diet by using them in place of breadcrumbs, garnishing salads or adding to cereal and yogurt.