Foods that Increase HDL and Reduce LDL

“Consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains is critical to lowering blood cholesterol levels and in turn limits excess cholesterol absorption in the intestines.” According to Net Wellness, “you might be interested in how quickly blood levels of other things change with diet and exercise, since they are all related to heart disease. Insulin and triglyceride levels (in the bloodstream) will fall within two weeks, HDL (high density lipoprotein/’good’ cholesterol) is slightly slower and reductions may take up to 6 weeks (and you may not want to reduce this part of the cholesterol), and LDL (low density lipoprotein/’bad’ cholesterol) is the slowest of all with the maximum reductions taking 3-4 months. ”

Biosynthesis of cholesterol is one way that cholesterol is found in our bodies, however, cholesterol is also taken in from dairy and meat products

Biosynthesis of cholesterol produced in the body’s liver  is key to an individual’s overall health. About 20-25% of cholesterol is made in the liver and its production is needed as:

  • A precursor to bile acids,
  • Assisting in the absorption of fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, K across the digestive tract
  • It plays a part in the synthesis of vitamin D,  estrogen, testosterone, progesterone and other various hormones.
  • Properly structures membranes allowing for the function of proton, hydrogen and sodium ions. The insulation of the brain’s myelin sheath also comes from cholesterol and maintains the proper conduction of impulses.

Cholesterol comes from the Greek language; chole (bile), stereos (solid), -ol (AN alcohol referred to as an organic substance, such as a waxy steroid or fat) 

Not all fats are created equal. Fats found in fried foods and baked goods should be eaten in lesser amounts. Aim for including healthy oils that come from vegetables, seeds and nuts

There is little use for animal cholesterol which comes from dairy, meat and fish products. Cholesterol from animals is responsible for increasing LDL cholesterol known as the non-healthy cholesterol, leading to blocked or hardening of arteries.

Plants have very little cholesterol which comes from phytosterols,  (flax seed, peanuts and olives), responsible for competing with LDL cholesterol and reducing it’s negative impact on the body.

HDL is a healthy cholesterol needed to keep our hormones, organs, muscles, veins and arteries operating properly. It works as a sponge, collecting loose cholesterol within the blood stream.

Consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains is critical to lowering blood cholesterol levels and in turn limits excess cholesterol absorption in the intestines.

FRUIT 4 servings/day Great for Reduction of LDL Cholesterol and Increase HDL Cholesterol:

  • blueberries
  • apples
  • prunes
  • pears
  • plums
  • apricots

Choose fruits whose skin can be eaten. Eating fruits with membranes or seeds are also helpful for reduction of LDL and increase of HDL cholesterol:

  • oranges
  • grapefruit
  • pomegranates

VEGGIES 5 servings/day Great for Reduction of LDL and increase HDL Cholesterol: Any leafy green, introducing roughage into the diet:

  • Avocado
  • broccoli
  • lentils/legumes
  • rapini
  • kale
  • collard greens
  • spinach
  • lettuce
  • zucchini

WHOLE GRAINS promoting soluble fiber

  • 1 cup of oatmeal
  • Seeds: flax, pumpkin or sunflower seeds added to salads
  •  add barley to soups.

Cholesterol from meat is linked to increased LDL cholesterol overtime and should be consumed in moderation. 4 ounces twice a day is considered sufficient. LDL cholesterol should be less than 100

 Fish, Lean Meat, Poultry 2 servings/day. 3-4 ounces per serving. Eat more Fish which contains healthy omega 3  oils such as;

  • Mackerel
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Anchovies

Nuts about 1 tsp 4 times a week.  (Monounsaturated fats.)

  • Almonds
  • Chestnuts
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pecans
  • Pistacchios
  • Walnuts

Cholesterol from phytosterols found in seeds and olives is considered effective in lowering LDL cholesterol and known to be linked to healthy cholesterol or HDL which should be measured between 40-60.

OILS 2 tbsp per day Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a monounsaturated fat and contributes to raising HDL (healthy cholesterol) and causes LDL cholesterol to be reduced.
Water 8 glasses / day

LDL is an unhealthy cholesterol only when it becomes oxidized.  Oxidation of LDL is due to free radicals floating around in our body which are  O+ broken off from degenerating protein called homocysteine. The positively charged oxygen then attaches itself to LDL cholesterol and plaque begins to form in your arteries and veins. Hence forth, why anti-oxidants from fruit and vegetables need to be a part of ones daily intake, to clean up the free radicals.

LDL cholesterol is established through our nutrition,  it is found in trans fats and animal fat.  Trans fats or elaidic acid, is defined as a carbon within a molecule that has been transcended, commonly through hydrogenation of oils, making the trans fat “plastic like” within arteries and veins.  Trans fats are found in margarine, shortening, cookies, and oil-frying.

Animal fats, or saturated fats, are found in milk, butter, cheese, ice cream, meats, poultry, pork and fish.  Although we need a certain amount of meats for vitamin B and fish for Omega-3, they should be consumed in small amounts 3-4 ounce (84-112 g) servings, twice a day.

3 Effective Steps to Increase HDL

  1. Walk 30-60 minutes five times a week for a total of 2 1/2 hours per week.  Walking twice a day for 20-30 minutes each time will increase your metabolism, strengthen bones, muscles and keep your heart pumping…increasing the HDL cholesterol, which removes LDL cholesterol from your arteries.
    z’From an overall health promoting angle it is advisable to endeavor to have 2-3 bowel movements per day to eliminated waste, toxins and cholesterol from your system. For everyday that goes by without having a bowel movement, the toxins are reabsorbed.”
  2. Consume foods that increase HDL levels:  Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Canola and vegetable oils, Walnuts, Fish and fiber,  which are Fruit and Vegetables . Shoot for a total of 4 1/2 cups servings a day of fruits and vegetables.  Please refer to:  Daily Serving Guidelines.
  3. Beverages that assist in increasing HDL levels: Cleanse your body with water and lemon water  throughout the day.  Wine and alcohol in moderation; 1 glass for a woman, 2 glasses for a man.

By: K. Crocker


Anti-Aging Foods: Salmon, Berries, Green Tea & More

The secret to feeling and looking younger comes down to fighting inflammatory substances that we ingest. Dr. Nicholas Perricone discusses the many benefits of whole foods and why they are a must in our diet.  It’s important for readers to understand that certain nutrients work more effectively in our body when in the presence of antioxidants.   Listed below are some substances found in foods that are linked to accelerating the body’s aging process:

1. Sucrose, such as corn syrup.

2.  Certain complex carbohydrates such as: white breads, cookies, chips.

3. Trans fats, which is any oil that has been hydrogenated, i.e. shortening. 

The Great News, as noted by Dr. Nicholas Perricone, is that certain foods high in antioxidants, reduce the effect’s of inflammation, associated with anti-aging.  Some nutritional foods to consider are:    Salmon, Blueberry and Green Tea.

Anti-oxidants, when consumed can fight the oxidants (O+) by attaching themselves to the free radicals and in turn reduce inflammation linked to many aspects of the aging process, not limited to, heart disease and even wrinkles.

Salmon contains a wonderful anti-oxidant (astaxanthin), causing Vitamin C and E to work longer, promoting the health of our eyes and skin.  Additionally, salmon is an excellent source of protein, which is needed to make all cells: skin, hair, eyes, muscles and organs.  It also contains a healthy fat found in the Omega 3 which promotes HDL to reduce the negative effects of LDL cholesterol.

Berries contain anthocyanin’s, which helps Vitamin C and E work better in the body. Research performed in Denmark found that Berries are used in the the reduction of inflammation and prevention or treatment of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s Disease, dementia and mood disorders.

Green Tea is a brain-wise healthy drink.  February 14, 2008 it was noted in the “Journal of Nutrition and Biochem”, by Japanese researchers that, “The catechins found in green tea are a source of anitoxidative defence for the brain neurons, preventing cognitive deficits.” Green tea does not stimulate your need for food. However, caffeine found in (north american) coffee, promotes hunger and a cascading process that begins with salivase (enzymes in your mouth) and ends with HCL found in your stomach, which can only be satisfied through food intake.  These foods are not usually associated with fruits and vegetables, but cookies, cakes and pies that are linked with inflammatory substances and weight gain.   

Three strong antioxaditive foods: Salmon, Blueberries and Green Tea, should be included in everyone’s daily meal plan, in order to, maintain ones mental and physical being. Additional fruits and vegetables high in anti-oxidants are: avocado, melon, whole grains, rice, soy, nuts, cruciferous vegetables. Two spices linked to improving th circulatory system are garlic and ginger.  Water is an individual’s best friend, as the human body is composed of 60% water.  

Eat whole foods, drink both water and green tea to give yourself the winning edge in keeping your body healthy and strong, which in the end is a contributing factor to longevity.

By:  Kimberly Crocker

Literature Research

Mol Nutr Food Res. 2007 Jun;51(6):675-83.Zafra-Stone S, Yasmin T, Bagchi M, Chatterjee A, Vinson JA, Bagchi D.  Research and Development Department, InterHealth Research Center, Benicia, CA, USA

 J Nutr Biochem. 2008 Feb 14  Haque AM, Hashimoto M, Katakura M, Hara Y, Shido O.  Department of Environmental Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Shimane University, Izumo City, Shimane, 693-8501, Japan.