You have probably heard of HDL before or high-density lipoprotein from your doctor at your most recent check-up. Hopefully he or she told you that HDL is your good cholesterol. As always, you want low bad (LDL) levels and high (HDL) levels to lower your risk for heart disease. If you have low levels of good cholesterol it is so important to bring those levels up, but do you know how. It’s time to ask yourself, “What foods do I need to put in my body to increase the good cholesterol or HDL?”
Set your target HDL cholesterol level
Cholesterol levels are measured in milligrams (mg) of cholesterol per deciliter (dL) of blood or millimoles (mmol) per liter (L). When it comes to HDL cholesterol, aim for a higher number.
|Men||Less than 40 mg/dL (1.0 mmol/L)||60 mg/dL (1.6 mmol/L) or above|
|Women||Less than 50 mg/dL (1.3 mmol/L)||60 mg/dL (1.6 mmol/L) or above|
7 Foods That Increase Your Good Cholesterol Levels:
- Think colorful nutrient rich fruits not juices which have tons of added preservatives.
- Tons of vegetables at least 5 serving a day, the FDA recommends 9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
- Essential fatty acids, which are fats that your body can’t produce on it’s on but it needs them. (flax seeds, almonds, chia seeds etc.)
- Onions, I know you might be thinking smelly, but this anti-inflammatory vegetable helps to lower bad cholesterol.
- Fish, such as salmon, wild mackarel, and nordic sardines contain omega 3 fatty acid which also helps in increasing good cholesterol levels. ( please limit amount because they also can be high in mercury)
- Eating walnuts, pecans, pistachios, and macadamia nuts have also been shown by researchers to increase good cholesterol levels.
- unsweetened, all natural 100% cranberry juice or cranberries are also linked to increasing good cholesterol levels.
If you haven’t had your cholesterol levels checked, make sure that you do. Staying informed is knowledge, which is always powerful.
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