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Good Cholesterol Sources

Good cholesterol is essential for the proper functioning of the body. So it is necessary to consume foods that are rich in HDL (high density lipoprotein).
Cholesterol is a soft wax like substance that is naturally present in our bodies. With the help of cholesterol, the body produces hormones and membranes of the cells. There are two types of cholesterol - Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol and High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol. HDL helps in preventing the buildup of bad cholesterol, which blocks the arteries. The required level of cholesterol should be less than 200 milligrams (mg) per deciliter (dL) of blood. In an average, healthy individual the ratio should be 60 milligrams per deciliter (60 mg/dL). Lower than 40 mg/dL is considered risky as the person may contract heart diseases.

Sources of Good Cholesterol

High density lipoprotein blood cholesterol prevents the onset of heart diseases by lowering and controlling the level of low density lipoprotein or bad cholesterol. Here are a few good cholesterol sources:
  • Onions are an excellent source to increase the level of good cholesterol in the body. Adding onions to the diet everyday is beneficial, as it adds HDL and also helps in purifying the blood.
  • Use garlic in your food whenever you can, as it also helps to increase the levels of HDL. Garlic, used in cooking, also gives a wonderful and delicious aroma to your food.
  • Fish is a good source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are instrumental in boosting good cholesterol levels in the blood. Include fatty fish like salmon, tuna or sardines in your diet.
  • Another excellent source of good cholesterol and proteins is eggs. You can eat them in the form of omelets or boil them as the essential nutrients are preserved.
  • Orange juice helps in hydrating the cells in the body, hence enhancing fluidity and increasing the level of good cholesterol in the body. A large number of people across the globe consume this miracle drink for breakfast everyday, as it refreshes the body and keeps it active through the day.
  • Cocoa is known to be one of the best sources of HDL. It is also rich in antioxidants which protects your body from the attack of free radicals. Consuming a half cup of cocoa daily for about 12 weeks increases the level by 25 percent.
  • Soluble fibers that are available in legumes, soy, peas, oat bran, broccoli and other green vegetables and different kinds of fruits are known to increase good cholesterol.
  • Using oils like extra virgin olive oil, flaxseed oil, sunflower oil, canola oil and safflower oil for cooking your food is a good way to raise good lipoprotein levels in the body.
Tips to Increase HDL

As high density lipoprotein is a heart friendly cholesterol, it is essential to have the required level in the body. Here are a few tips to increase HDL cholesterol:
  • Maintain a healthy weight as it will improve the levels of HDL in your body.
  • Avoid consuming fast food whenever you can, as these foodstuffs have a high content of trans fatty acids which increases the levels of bad cholesterol, which is harmful to the heart, and thus decreasing the levels.
  • Eat a healthy diet which is rich in fibers and low in fat. As this will ensure that you have a healthy and disease free life. Following a low cholesterol diet will ensure that the level of bad cholesterol is reduced in your body, naturally raising the levels of good cholesterol.
  • Follow a regular exercise regimen to increase HDL levels in your body. Walking briskly for about half an hour everyday is food for your heart and will lower the extra deposits of fat in your body.
  • Avoid the consumption of alcohol and quit smoking for a healthy heart.
Good cholesterol helps in improving a person's overall health. Your physician may also recommend certain medications like fibrates, statins and niacin, which would help in increasing the level of HDL.
By Marlene Alphonse
Published: 5/6/2010
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