High-density lipoproteins (HDL) are also known as “good” cholesterol. These particles help to remove cholesterol from the body by carrying it from the rest of the body to the liver, where it’s eliminated.
There are a number of ways to help keep your HDL levels in the optimal zone, including exercising, quitting smoking, and taking supplements. There are also certain foods that, in correlation with exercise, can help to raise your HDL levels (and/or improve the ratio of your HDL to LDL levels).
What do these foods have in common?
High in healthy fats: Foods such as fatty fish, nuts, and seeds are great dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are known for their heart-healthy benefits, but they also have the power to raise HDL levels.3,4
High in antioxidants: Known for the role they play in supporting a healthy immune system, antioxidants help to protect our bodies from the damage caused by oxidative stress. Foods high in antioxidants such as berries, grapes, and green tea have an added benefit: A higher antioxidant level is associated with improved HDL numbers.5 HDL is actually an antioxidant itself, helping to prevent the oxidation of lipids on LDL particles and helping to remove free radicals.6,7
So which foods should you add to your next grocery list?
So if your healthcare practitioner has suggested you increase your HDL levels to help optimize your health, consider adding one or more of these foods to your daily diet!
1. Zhou Q et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2015;12(5):4726-4738.
2. Brown L et al. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999;69(1):30-42.
3. Franceschini G et al. Metabolism. 1991;40(12):1283-1286.
4. Yanai H et al. J Clin Med Res. 2018;10(4):281-289.
5. Kim K et al. Nutrients. 2016;8(1):15.
6. Xepapadaki E et al.. Angiology. 2020;71(2): 112-121.
7. Brites F et al. BBA Clinical. 2017;8:66-77.
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