10 Ways to Increase Your Good Cholesterol (HDL)

Increase Good Cholesterol | Princeton Nutrients

When you go to the doctor to check your cholesterol, it’s important to know the difference between good cholesterol (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL).

Here are 10 tips to increase good cholesterol, which can help to keep your heart and arteries healthy.



    People on high-carb diets full of pasta, bread and especially sugar, tend to have lower HDL levels than those who eat plenty of protein and good fats along with veggies and whole grains. Studies showed that low HDL levels often occur when people are told to get all the fats out of their diets, and eat carbohydrates instead. This is a common dietary mistake. People with high HDL levels, instead, tend to focus on slower-burning carbs, such as beans and fruit.

Simple carbs


    A Canadian study showed that drinking a few glasses of orange juice everyday for four weeks increased participants’ HDL by up to 21 percent. This could be thanks to a flavonoid called Hesperidin that appears extremely HDL-Friendly. A later research found that tangerine juice may be even more effective. However, keep in mind that all that juice has very high sugar content, so limit it to one glass a day.


    1. EAT FIBER.

Dietary fiber, from foods such as whole grains, bran, fruits and vegetables, has been found to raise HDL levels. Furthermore, a diet high in fiber helps you to keep your weight under control and to keep your gut flora healthy, which are some nice side effects. 



Aerobic exercise, such running or cycling, has been shown to boost HDL levels. However, it must be performed regularly (30 mins, 5 times a week) and with, at least, moderate intensity in order to have significant effects. So make sure you exercise plenty and regularly.


      1. QUIT SMOKING.

If you smoke, quit. Among the large variety of benefits on your health you will see when quitting smoking, there is also a boost of good cholesterol by up to 10 percent. Quitting isn’t easy, but you can increase your odds of success by trying more than one strategy at the time.



This one might sound strange. However, purple fruits and vegetables are give this distinct color by a chemical called Anthocyanin. In a Chinese study Anthocyanin supplements proved to raise HDL levels by up to 11 percent, while decreasing LDL cholesterol. Some of these purple foods include: plums, grapes, purple cabbage, eggplant and raspberries.

Purple Foods 


Good news for all the chocolate lovers. Research from Italy shows that eating 50 grams of DARK chocolate (about 1.5 ounces) daily, can improve the antioxidant action of HDL. Just make sure it is dark, and stay within the recommended daily amount. 

Dark Chocolate


Low daily consumption of red wine has proved to improve HDL levels. The suggested amount per day is up to 2 glasses for men and one glass for women, but remember that a glass of wine is only about 5 ounces. Like with chocolate, you want to make sure you don’t exceed the recommended daily dose.

Red Wine 

      1. VITAMIN B.

Large doses of vitamin B3, or niacin, have been found to raise HDL as much as 20 percent and are often prescribed to people with cholesterol problems. Most multivitamins contain all the niacin you need daily, so you should be good. Supplementing beyond that can have side effects, so you shouldn’t try it unless advised by your doctor.


      1. HEALTHY FATS.

        Last, but most definitely not least, are healthy fats. There is a wide selection of fatty foods that are actually good for you, and help you increase your good cholesterol. Here’s a list of healthy fatty foods that you might want to add to your diet:

        • Olive Oil
        • Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, albacore tuna, sardines, and rainbow trout.
        • Ground Flaxseeds.
        • Nuts, including Brazil nuts, almonds, pistachios, peanuts and others.
        • Chia seeds.
        • Avocado

Healthy fatty foods

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