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Pump Up Good Cholesterol (HDL) With These Foods


High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is a good kind of cholesterol that your body needs. Meanwhile, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which is also called the bad cholesterol, is the kind of cholesterol that you may want to regularly keep in check.

HDL is a friendly scavenger that cruises the bloodstream and removes extra cholesterol and plaque buildup in the arteries and sends them into the liver which is responsible for removing them from the body. When HDL is at its healthy levels, it can reduce the risk of heart diseases but low levels increase the risk.

Some of the steps you can do to boost your HDL level and reduce your heart disease risk are as follows:

Quit Smoking – The smoke coming from tobacco can lower HDL. Quit this bad habit to increase its levels.

Regular Exercise – Pump up HDL by doing aerobic exercises for 30 to 60 minutes 5 times a week.

Keep a Healthy Weight – Along with the different ways to improve your HDL, you also need to avoid obesity and maintain a healthy weight to reduce your risk for heart-related diseases and other health conditions.

Aside from these steps, there are also foods that can help you raise your HDL ration in relation to total cholesterol.


Avocado

Avocados are a great source of folate and monosaturated fats that help boost HDL and lowers LDL, thereby reducing the risk for various heart diseases. Also, its fiber content helps keep cholesterol in check.

You can add avocados into your sandwiches, salads, or soups.


Olive Oil

Considered as one of the healthiest fats around, olive oil can increase HDL cholesterol through the help of its antioxidants known as polyphenols. Moreover, studies have revealed that olive oil can boost HDL's anti-inflammatory and antioxidant function of older people and individuals with high cholesterol levels. Just make sure that the oil you will be using is an extra-virgin olive oil.
You can use olive oil in your sauces, salad dressings or soup.


Coconut Oil


Coconut oil tends to raise HDL cholesterol more than many other types of fat. Additionally, it may also improve the ratio of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the "bad" cholesterol, to HDL cholesterol thus reducing the risk of heart diseases.


Fatty Fish


Lower your LDL and increase HDL by consuming fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids. It can help reduce inflammation and better functioning of the cells that line your arteries.

This includes albacore tuna, sardines, salmon, and mackerel. For this purpose, you need to eat two servings of fish per week.


Berries


A cup of frozen berries a day for eight weeks can increase your body’s HDL levels by 5 percent.


Nuts


Nuts are great sources of heart-healthy fats, fiber, and a substance called plant sterols which block the absorption of cholesterol in your body. Some of these nuts are pistachios, almonds, peanuts, and Brazil nuts.


Eggs


According to a study from Thailand, healthy adults who ate a whole egg every day for 12 weeks increased HDL as much as 48 percent.


High-Fiber Fruit


Consume more fruits that are rich in fiber because they can help raise your HDL level and lower your LDL level. Some of these fruits are pears, prunes, and apples which can be a great midafternoon snack or an after-dinner treat.


Beans And Legumes

Great amounts of soluble fiber are present in whole grains, beans, and legumes. Add kidney beans, navy beans, black beans, black-eyed peas, lentils, and others into your diet.

Folate, an important B vitamin needed by the heart, is also found in beans.

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