It is believed taht every milligram per deciliter increase in HDL cholesterol lowers a person’s risk of having a fatal heart attack by three percent. So, we donĀ“t have to emphazice the important role that this molecule plays in our health.

While several foods have been proven to lower LDL cholesterol, no foods that raise HDL consistently have been found. You might find it odd, specially because there are tons of articles all over the internet promoted these so called HDL raising foods, but in fact they often mistake foods that lower cholesterol and foods that lower heart disease risk with increasing HDL levels.

Convince yourself, if you look in the scientific literature, no foods have been shown to consistently raise HDL.

The only exception is red wine, its been clinically proven that it can improve HDL levels, due to its polyphenol content (doctors recommend to have one glass per day). Recent studies claim that white wine and other alcoholic drinks may have similiar effects.

So, if you want to increase your HDL levels, you have to choices. The natural path would be taking some Conservative treatment measures (dietary modification to decrease cholesterol, smoking cessation, aerobic exercise).

The other path you can take is start a drug treatment. Available agents for increasing HDL are currently limited to niacin and the fibrates. Soy lecithin and phosphatidylinositol have also proven to be effective HDL level increasing agents. Talk to your doctor before starting any type of treatment.

Here comes a list of the types of foods that have heart benefits but do not raise HDL:

  • Orange Juice
  • Beans – kidney and red beans
  • Olive Oil
  • Oat bran
  • Onions (especially raw)
  • Soy Products
  • Soluble Fiber
  • Foods containing omega-3 fatty acids
  • Walnuts
  • Garlic
  • Fish, poultry without the skin, lean beef
  • Skim or low-fat milk
  • Steamed vegetables
  • Unsaturated vegetable oils: corn, canola, safflower, sesame, sunflower, olive, soybean
  • Fruit

Foods containing omega-3 fatty acids have shown to have lots of benefical properties, here come some of them:

  • Lower tryglicerid levels
  • Lower the risk of heart disease
  • Decrease atherosclerosis
  • Decrease blood pressure

You may find high omega-3 levels in fatty fish, fish from depp waters, fish oils, flaxseeds, canola Oil, leafy greens, etc.

It is important to remember that none of these foods can improve HDL levels.

Aslo, to prevent heart disease you shoul eat less of these foods:

  • Sausage, organ meats (like liver)
  • Whole milk
  • Ice cream
  • Egg yolks
  • Buttered or fried vegetables
  • French fries
  • Creamed soups
  • Saturated fats: butter, coconut oil, palm oil, lard, bacon fat
  • Cheesecake
  • Pastries, doughnuts
  • Potato chips
  • Refined carbohydrates and sugar
  • Eggs and bacon

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