Top 10 Foods That Increase HDL Cholesterol and Lower LDL


Eating your way to a frighteningly high cholesterol level is very easy and the bad news is that more and more people are doing it. However, the reverse is true as well and if you change your diet, then you can easily reduce Low Density Lipoprotein cholesterol and improve your HDL cholesterol. So if you’re committed to improving your health starting today, then below you’ll find the top 10 best foods that’ll boost your HDL Cholesterol (good) and Lower LDL Cholesterol (bad).

1. Dark Chocolate and Plant Sterols (100 grams)

  • Can Reduce Cholesterol by: 2% to 5%.
  • Calories: 546.
  • Total Fat: 31 grams.
  • Saturated fat: 19 grams.
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.1 grams.
  • Monounsaturated fat: 10 grams.
  • Trans fat: 0.1 grams.
  • Cholesterol: 8 milligrams.
  • Protein: 4.9 grams.

Cocoa flavanols, but also plant sterols found in dark chocolate with zero content milk can reduce cholesterol by 2% to 5%. On top of that, phytosterols that are found in almost every plant, most specifically plant oils such as soybean oil and corn oil, can lower bad cholesterol levels by up to 16 percent. Keep in mind though that this reduction is generally due to inhibiting the absorption of cholesterol.

2. Polyunsaturated and Monounsaturated Fats (Olive Oil, Canola Oil, etc) (100 grams)

  • (Olive Oil) Can Reduce Cholesterol by: 18%.
  • Total Fat: 100 grams.
  • Saturated fat: 14 grams.
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 11 grams.
  • Monounsaturated fat: 73 grams.
  • Cholesterol: 0 milligrams.

For those who want to achieve a dramatic decrease in LDL cholesterol and increase their HDL cholesterol, it’s recommended that they substitute high-cholesterol foods and saturated animals fats with canola oil, olive oil, but also avocados and peanut oil. Anyone having a diet rich in sunflower oil and olive oil that contains 7.9 percent polyunsaturated fat, 15.1 percent monounsaturated fat and 12.9 percent saturated fat can reduce as much as 18 percent of their bad cholesterol compared to those that have a diet rich in saturated fat.

3. Flax Seeds (100 grams)

  • Can Reduce Cholesterol by: 8% to 14%.
  • Calories: 534.
  • Total Fat: 42 grams.
  • Cholesterol: 0 milligrams.
  • Dietary fiber: 27 grams.
  • Sugar: 1.6 grams.
  • Protein: 18 grams.

Consuming 50 grams of flax seeds a day is very healthy for the body, helping you reduce your bad cholesterol by up to 8 percent. People with high cholesterol that eat 38g of flax seeds per day can reduce their bad cholesterol by 14 percent, regardless if they’re eaten raw or consumed in any type of bread product.

4. Whole Barley (100 grams)

  • Can Reduce Cholesterol by: 7% to 10%.
  • Calories: 354.
  • Total Fat: 2.3 grams.
  • Saturated Fat: 0.482 grams.
  • Cholesterol: 0 milligrams.
  • Protein: 12.5 grams.

When used as a substitute for wheat products, barley can easily reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in the body. Since it can substitute for wheat in a wide range of forms, including whole pearl barley, barley flour or barley noodles to name a few, barley is regarded as one of the best foods to consider if you’re trying to reduce your bad cholesterol.

5. Garlic (100 grams)

  • Can Reduce Cholesterol by: 9% to 12%.
  • Calories: 149.
  • Total Fat: 0.5 grams.
  • Saturated fat: 0.1 grams.
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.2 grams.
  • Monounsaturated fat: 0 grams.
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg.
  • Protein: 6 grams.

According to various studies, even less than half a clove of raw garlic consumed per day has the power to reduce cholesterol by 9 and up to 12 percent. The best results are generally obtained when consuming raw garlic which can be used as a garnish on sandwiches or soups or added to various salad dressings.

6. Green Tea (100 grams)

  • Can Reduce Cholesterol by: 2% to 5%.
  • Calories: 1.
  • Total fat: 0 grams.
  • Trans fat: 0 grams.
  • Cholesterol: 0 milligrams.
  • Protein: 0 grams.

Green tea is one of the most popular types of teas in Asia and has been long consumed by locals there for various purposes, including keeping their cholesterol in check. Not only is green tea delicious and has many health benefits, but it can easily replace a wide range of unhealthy beverages we consume each day.

7. Almonds (100 grams)

  • Can Reduce Cholesterol by: 7% to 10%.
  • Calories: 576.
  • Total Fat: 49 grams.
  • Saturated fat: 3.7 grams.
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 12 grams.
  • Monounsaturated fat: 31 grams.
  • Trans fat: 0 grams.
  • Cholesterol: 0 milligrams.
  • Protein: 21 grams.

People who eat up to half a cup of almonds a day can potentially reduce their cholesterol level by up to 10 percent. However, since almonds contain a lot of calories, it’s recommended that you consume them with moderation.

8. Walnuts and Pistachios (100 grams)

  • Can Reduce Cholesterol by: 10%.
  • Calories: 654.
  • Total Fat: 65 grams.
  • Saturated fat: 6 grams.
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 47 grams.
  • Monounsaturated fat: 9 grams.
  • Cholesterol: 0 milligrams.
  • Protein: 15 grams.

Consumption of pistachios or walnuts has been long deemed a healthy habit by many nutritionists around the world. In fact, the fats from walnuts for instance can easily replace the consumption of high cholesterol fats, so anyone who wants to start living healthier should certainly start by consuming approximately thirty grams of walnuts a day in order to reduce their bad cholesterol levels.

9. Bran (Rice, Oat) (100 grams)

  • Can Reduce Cholesterol by: 7% to 14%.
  • Calories: 224.
  • Total Fat: 0.9 grams.
  • Saturated fat: 0.1 grams.
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.4 grams.
  • Monounsaturated fat: 0.2 grams.
  • Cholesterol: 0 milligrams.
  • Protein: 8 grams.

Many studies have been performed around the health benefits of oat bran and it seems that it’s quite effective in reducing bad cholesterol levels. Oat bran can be added to both breads and cereals, making it very easy to consume for the average person.

10. Lycopene Foods (Tomatoes) (100 grams)

  • Can Reduce Cholesterol by: 0% to 17%.
  • Calories: 18.
  • Total Fat: 0.2 grams.
  • Saturated fat: 0 grams.
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.1 grams.
  • Monounsaturated fat: 0 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 milligrams.
  • Protein: 0.9 grams.

For those who don’t know, lycopene is a carotenoid pigment that gives vegetables and fruits their red color and it is found in watermelons, tomatoes and many other vegetables. Studies made to date on lycopene show that eating lycopene rich foods can lower your cholesterol by as little as 10 percent and as much as 17 percent. Because of that, eating a diet rich in lycopene is extremely recommended to those who want to greatly reduce their LDL cholesterol levels.

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