Foods That Are Rich In Good Cholesterol

Written by Dr. Veena Madhankumar and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team

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A common question everyone asks is if cholesterol is good or bad for you? Cholesterol is both good as well as bad. At normal levels, cholesterol is a vital substance for the body to perform some functions like producing hormones and building cells. But if the cholesterol levels get too high in the blood, it becomes a silent killer and puts you at risk of heart disease.

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You may constantly hear from doctors that you can take good cholesterol. But have you wondered what good cholesterol is? There are two types of cholesterol depending on the kind of protein transporting it—low-density lipoproteins (LDL) deposit cholesterol, which later builds up in the body. Hence LDL cholesterol is known as the bad cholesterol, whereas high-density lipoprotein (HDL) collects the bad cholesterol from the arteries and brings it to the liver for disposal. Therefore this is called good cholesterol.

How do we know what all foods contain good cholesterol? Here is some information that can help.

1) Beans And Legumes

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Bean and legumes are considered to be an asset to a heart-friendly diet. It is known to improve good cholesterol and is a great source of cholesterol-friendly soluble fiber. There are certain studies saying that half a cup of beans and legumes can lower bad cholesterol levels. Hence it can balance the HDL (good): LDL (bad) cholesterol.

 
 

2) Avocados

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Avocados are considered one of the healthiest fruits because of their rich abundance of monounsaturated fat, high fiber, and potassium. This monounsaturated fat has a strong link with high HDL, and it is also known to lower LDL cholesterol.

3) Salmon

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Adding salmon to your diet twice a week is known to reduce the risk of heart disease. It yields some great anti-inflammatory benefits. It is known to significantly increase the proportion of HDL cholesterol indirectly by lowering the triglycerides, which is an unhealthy fat in the blood.

4) Flax Seeds

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It is a rich source of anti-inflammatory fat. It is rich in omega-3s. It is known to increase the levels of HDL. Hence many cardiologists recommend incorporating it into a balanced diet.

5) Olive Oil

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Olive oil is packed with healthy monounsaturated fats, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties. It helps to improve HDL cholesterol and is known to lower LDL cholesterol. Hence you can consider it as your go-to for cooking. Not only does it flavor your food, but it is also healthy.

6) Berries

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Different types of berries, such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, are loaded with antioxidant compounds like phenolic acids, anthocyanins, tannins, and carotenoids that are linked to lower inflammation and improve HDL cholesterol. It is vital for overall heart health by enhancing anti-inflammatory pathways and increasing HDL cholesterol levels.

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