Cholesterol has become a target for elimination among several fitness enthusiasts and food bloggers.
Most of them describe cholesterol as bad. And they argue that if you want to be healthy, you should get rid of them.
But it’s important to realize that cholesterol a crucial part of how our body functions. And there is “good” cholesterol and “bad” cholesterol.
In this article, we will discuss some of the foods that can help improve good cholesterol.
But first, what is the difference between good cholesterol and bad cholesterol? Aren’t all cholesterol bad? Read on to find out.
What is good cholesterol and bad cholesterol?
Connected to proteins in the body, cholesterol is transported in the blood. This attachment of cholesterol and protein is known as the lipoprotein.
Depending on lipoprotein carried in the blood, there can two kinds of cholesterol:
- Low-density lipoprotein (LDL). This is commonly referred to as the “bad” cholesterol. LDL carries cholesterol particles through the body. The problem is that in the process, it accumulates or sticks up in the artery walls. This, in turn, hardens and narrows the arteries.
- High-density lipoprotein (HDL). This cholesterol, on the other hand, is considered the “good” cholesterol. This is because it scoops up the excess cholesterol in the blood and transports it to the liver.
Here’s the bottom line: not all cholesterol is bad. Additionally, you also know that in fact, you need good cholesterol for an overall healthy body. Now, let’s take a look at some of the foods that increase good cholesterol.
Foods that increase good cholesterol
1. Olive oil
Olive oil contains monosaturated fats as well as polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties.
The virgin type is preferred to the processed one as it contains more of these antioxidants.
Scientific research has shown these antioxidants to be responsible for the increase in good cholesterol.
Almonds and walnuts do not just lower the bad cholesterol. They also encourage the production of good cholesterol from the liver and contain omega-3 as well. This is one of my favorite good cholesterol foods.
3. Kidney beans
Part of the legume family, kidney beans is rich in dietary fiber which has a significant role in the preventing of risks of chronic diseases.
In a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, researchers tested ten legumes.
The results reported that legumes are considered low-GI foods and have shown potential hypocholesterolemic effects.
A mixed bean cake with a lot of kidney beans is a good diet to increase good cholesterol. It is rich in antioxidants.
4. Orange juice
Rich in bioflavonoids, particularly hesperidin, glasses of orange juice increases good cholesterol by as much as 20%.
Also, consider one study research on a group of people with a high risk of cardiovascular illness.
The researchers found that daily consumption of blueberries helped to increase “good cholesterol” levels. Participants in the study also experienced a reduction of stiffness in arteries.
Eggs have traditionally gotten a bad rap for being high in cholesterol especially the yolk.
But studies have shown that a fair amount of whole eggs each day might be helpful for the average healthy person.
Researchers at the Clinic for Preventive Health Examinations in Denmark observed twenty-four healthy adults between ages 23 and 52 over six weeks.
In the experiment, participants, after one week control period, added two boiled eggs to the usual daily diet for 6 weeks — without changing any aspect of their lifestyles.
The researchers reported their findings in the Journal of Internal Medicine. They found that after six weeks of extra egg consumption, serum HDL cholesterol increased by 10 percent.
A complete mix of vitamins, minerals, and fibers found in this fruit makes it a top choice for increasing those good cholesterol levels.
Better absorbed in its ground form, flaxseed is a healthy source of omega-3. Dieticians usually recommend its inclusion in your diet. It helps to maintain healthy circulation of HDL in the blood.
Artichoke might not be everyone’s favorite vegetable. However, it has one of the richest sources of fibers. This makes it a great source for improving cholesterol.
10. Omega-3 containing
Probably the one that you are most familiar with, Omega-3 truly contains a rich HDL content. Examples of fish with a rich omega-3 profile, include:
If you have special health situations, do well to consult your doctor before adding any of these foods to your meals. For instance, diabetic people might respond differently.
As you may, the foods we eat are only one piece of how healthy we are. It’s important to consider the other pieces like getting good sleep, exercising regularly. The exercises can be a simple jog or even an intense workout.
Eating well, combined with good exercises and sleep habits are necessary if you want to main an overall healthy lifestyle.