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HDL Cholesterol Foods

HDL cholesterol foods are misunderstood by a number of people. Find out some useful information about cholesterol and related foods mentioned in the following article.
Cholesterol is a very important metabolite found in the blood plasma of humans and animals. It is considered as the principle sterol which is synthesized by animals for a number of reasons, one of the major ones being for metabolism. There are several types of lipoproteins which make up the body cholesterol and they are in the increasing order of their density. They are chylomicrons, very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL), intermediate-density lipoprotein (IDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). This order means that when there is less protein and more cholesterol, the lipoprotein is less dense. Therefore, HDL which has the highest density of lipoprotein is the healthiest form of cholesterol and chylomicrons are the most harmful for the body.

VLDL, IDL and LDL can cause heart diseases as they accumulate on the arteries and veins when their concentration in the blood is high. These are mentioned in the following paragraphs, so find out what are these foods that raise HDL cholesterol foods.

HDL Cholesterol Food List

The reason why HDL is known as "good" cholesterol is because it has an ability to protect the heart from diseases by removing the LDL from the blood. If there is a deposition of LDL which is the "bad" cholesterol which is responsible for many heart diseases, HDL removes it from the blood vessels and carries it to the liver where it is excreted from the body. It is commonly known that HDL cholesterol foods are rich in amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and soluble fiber. With these foods you can also consider taking a low cholesterol diet which is also helpful in many ways.

Fish with Omega-3 fatty acids
If you want to be a heart healthy person, you should definitely eat more amounts of fish. Fish is very rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, which helps to reduce your blood pressure. This is useful to reduce the risk of developing blood clots and by using omega-3 fish oil benefits, you will surely minimize the risk of heart attacks if you are already a heart patient. Baking and grilling the fish is the best way to avoid unnecessary fats. Ground flaxseed or canola oil, are said to increase HDL cholesterol foods, if you don't eat fish. You should eat at least two servings of the following fish in a week.
  • Salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Sardines
  • Herring
  • Lake trout
  • Halibut
  • Albacore tuna
Soluble Fiber Foods
There are other good HDL cholesterol foods which are rich in soluble fibers. These fibers help in our daily metabolism which gives us the strength and energy to go throughout the day. They also reduce the LDL levels and increase HDL levels from the blood and arterial system if deposited. These high HDL cholesterol foods are:
  • Citrus fruits like strawberries, oranges, grapes and apples
  • Beans like kidney, navy, red beans and pinto beans
  • Whole grains such as oatmeal
  • Bran and barley
  • Rice
Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Nuts
Nuts like walnuts, avocados, almonds and other nuts are very useful in reducing blood cholesterol. They are good cholesterol sources which are rich in the polyunsaturated fatty acids which are used again to reduce the levels of unhealthy LDL and raise the levels of HDL. Thus, HDL cholesterol foods like pecans, hazelnuts, peanuts, some pine nuts, and pistachio nuts, helps to reduce the risk of heart disease to a considerable extent. But you have to remember that these nuts are not coated with sugar or salt.

With such a wide variety of HDL cholesterol foods mentioned above, I am sure you are out of your confusion about which foods are healthy for lowering cholesterol levels. But make sure you consult a dietitian regarding your cholesterol diet before you start with these foods.
By Aparna Jadhav
Published: 7/8/2010
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