4 Foods to Help Boost Good Cholesterol

Cholesterol-cutting statins aren't particularly effective at raising HDL -- but, happily, new research shows you can crank levels up by eating these foods.

By Janice Graham from Reader's Digest | September 2009
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    1. Dark chocolate. In a recent study, volunteers who ate 3.5 ounces of dark chocolate (the gourmet kind that's 70 percent cacao) every day for a week raised their HDL by 9 percent. That's a load of chocolate (about 550 calories' worth!), but study coauthor Paul A. Gurbel, MD, of Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, says eating smaller daily doses (say, 1/2 ounce) over an extended period of time should also help.

    2. Salmon. HDL rose 4 percent in adults who ate two 4-ounce servings of salmon a week for four weeks, according to a Loma Linda University study. Other fatty fish -- mackerel, herring, sardines -- should deliver similar benefits, researchers say.

    3. Berries. They needn't be fresh, just plentiful: HDL levels rose 5 percent when adults ate about a cup of frozen berries a day for eight weeks.

    4. Eggs. Healthy adults who ate a whole egg every day for 12 weeks increased HDL as much as 48 percent in a study from Thailand. Eggs are rich in lecithin -- which, animal studies have shown, raises HDL.

    Bonus Tip: HDL is often called 'good cholesterol,' but really it's great: For every point you add to your score, you get a 2 to 3 percent drop in your risk of heart disease.

    See also: 14 Cholesterol-Friendly Recipes

    Your Comments

    • http://www.learningquranonline.com/teaching-quran.htm Fauktak

      i love chocolate but i am growing fatter and fatter is it good or bad

      • bang2tang

        It’s sugar in choco that make you fatter.

    • Speranzalnp

      No. You should be more worried about your good cholesterol being low anyway. By fixing your low levels of HDL you won’t have to worry about your LDL…but then again, if one simply eats a healthy diet of REAL food they would not have these problems.

    • Mirabal Raphael

      I am completly confused.  I had always thought that eggs was the #1 no no for bad cholestoral levels.  So if you increase your good cholesterol with eggs, does your bad cholestoral go up also and if so does that not cancel the good effects out?

      • bang2tang

        I think previous research mistakenly judging yolk high in fat that make your cholesterol index higher, but then they’ve found not all the fat is bad.