In this article we will learn how to increase HDL cholesterol with good cholesterol foods.
As we all know, at the base of cardiovascular diseases and congenital disorders, there is the formation of plaques in the blood, called atherosclerotic plaques indeed, due to the accumulation of saturated fat and cholesterol.
In particular, LDL cholesterol is responsible for the obstruction of the arteries and consequent serious cardiovascular problems. It's for this reason that we must try to maintain low LDL cholesterol and high HDL cholesterol.
To raise HDL cholesterol it is necessary to follow a healthy diet and do aerobic exercise (click here to learn how to increase good cholesterol).
We do not necessarily improvise athletes or become bodybuilders (especially because lifting weights, for example, is not considered aerobic activity). Instead it is recommended to do at least 20-30 minutes of fast walk (the real benefits begin only after 20 minutes of continuous walking), every day.
If you are a smoker, the first thing to do is to quit smoking: this alone can increase the production of good cholesterol by 7%. No need to mention how you can also improve your performance in physical activity!
Some Good Cholesterol Foods...
As for the diet, you have to reduce the intake of saturated fat and increase consumption of foods rich in monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats, and these are mostly found in foods such as:
- Olive oil and sunflower seeds oil, which contain omega-3 and omega-6, very important for the proper functioning of the heart
Also a moderate use of alcohol has been associated with higher levels of HDL: this means that alcohol may have some beneficial effects, as long as you don't exaggerate (no more than 2 glasses,for example wine, per day for men and 1 glass per day for women.
Of course no alcohol for those who have liver problems.
Beneficial or not, I cut it short, I don't drink alcohol, not even "occasionally".
That's not it, though. There are other good cholesterol foods:
- Whole grains: like oatmeal, oat bran and whole-grain products
- Nuts: walnuts, almonds and Brazil nuts. Dry fruit is made from oil seeds, which contain oils particularly of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are good for the body. They are especially good as snacks. These are good fats, needed to keep high levels of testosterone.
- Plant sterols: beta-sitosterol and Sitostanol (typically found in margarine derivatives)
Another category of foods that you should eat often is vegetables, especially those that contain many polyphenols: broccoli, celery, kale, parsley and onion.
You should also eat plenty of fruit such as apples, grapes and citrus fruits (oranges and grapefruit).
Other good cholesterol foods are soy (rich in isoflavones), beans, carrots and oats. Even though it helps increasing good cholesterol, I tend to avoid soy, because it's also a type of food that lowers testosterone.
As a fitness guy, I give more priority to testosterone levels than cholesterol. It doesn't mean that I neglect it, I just make sure that I eat healthy, do physical activity, and stay away from smoke and alcohol.
Low LDL and Good Cholesterol Foods
There are foods that help increase good cholesterol by reducing the bad one. Some of them are by now familiar because they increase HDL:
- White meat: chicken, turkey (remove visible fat)
- Fish: prefer blue-fish and avoid shellfish
- Dairy products: skim milk and low-fat cheese
- Egg whites
- Condiments: mustard, pepper, spices, vinegar and lemon
Cardiovascular diseases are a class of diseases that can be prevented with a little attention. Changing lifestyle and following adequate and healthy nutrition is very important if we want to prevent future problems!
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