How To Increase HDL Cholesterol And Improve Heart Health

Snehil Sharma

Snehil Sharma
Feb 2023

2 min read
How To Increase HDL Cholesterol

Table of content

You might have heard these two words: “high-density lipoprotein or HDL cholesterol” (the good one) and “low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol” (the bad one). But do you know how to increase HDL cholesterol, which is effective and protects your heart health?

Being Indian, we are blessed to have great ways to enjoy the richness of flavors without sacrificing healthy cholesterol levels. But problems arise when people overconsume food because too much cholesterol is bad for our health. But on the other hand, HDL cholesterol is also essential for overall wellness. So, to make it clear let’s understand in-depth these types of cholesterols and how can we increase HDL cholesterol levels. 

What Is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a lipid that is produced by our liver and is in the form of a waxy type of fat. These fats can also be consumed directly by eating foods that come from animals, such as red meat, beef, etc. However, it is transported throughout the body with the help of our blood.

Cholesterol is required by the human body to:

  • Form cell membrane layers
  • Help the liver make bile for digestion.
  • Produce vitamin D
  • Make certain hormones

It has two primary types of cholesterol:

  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL)
  • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL)
  • Very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) (carries triglycerides- fat stores in your body and used for generating energy) 

Also, read: Give Your 3 Minutes Of Time Here And Know How To Reduce Cholesterol

What Are Optimal Levels Of HDL Cholesterol?

Cholesterol levels are measured in milligrams (mg) of cholesterol per deciliter (dL) of blood or millimoles (mmol) per liter (L).

When it comes to HDL cholesterol, higher numbers are better.

At RiskDesirable
Men (Less than 40 mg/dL (1.0 mmol/L)60 mg/dL (1.6 mmol/L) or above
Women (Less than 50 mg/dL (1.3 mmol/L)60 mg/dL (1.6 mmol/L) or above
Anyone (19 or younger)More Than 45mg/dl

How To Increase Good Cholesterol Levels

Sometimes navigating the world with high cholesterol may feel next to impossible against the endless choices we make every day. But we at Fitelo believe that if you try to incorporate these lifestyle changes, you can increase your HDL naturally.

1. Physical Activities

There are several studies that have proven and recommended that 40 minutes of aerobics can help you improve your HDL cholesterol. Also, you can include a 30-minute walk regularly in the schedule. Moreover, will keep you to stay active the whole day.

2. Diet

Start avoiding trans fats in foods such as fried food, baked food, and junk food. In addition to this, always limit saturated fats such as those in meat and full-fat dairy products like cheese, milk, butter, etc. You can also include vitamin D rich foods as well to balance your diet.

3. Smoking

Make sure you stop your smoking habit. Smoking is the most dangerous for your heart’s health, as it is known to lower HDL levels and increase LDL levels and triglycerides. That’s why heavy smokers are weak.

4. Drinking

Limit alcoholic beverages (up to one drink a day for women of all ages and men older than 65, and up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger).

5. Choose Better Fats

Start consuming monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These are easily available in plants like nuts, and fish like salmon, and tuna. Eat these foods in small portions because these foods are packed with lots of calories.

How To Increase HDL Cholesterol Naturally with Indian Foods

So, here are some nutritious foods to raise HDL cholesterol, as recommended by nutritionists:

1. Avocados

This fruit is one of the best sources for increasing HDL levels in the human body. It is packed with monosaturated fibers and fats. However, avocado benefits in many other health advantages. So, consuming it in your diet plan will aid you to clean the LDL cholesterol present in the blood and replace it with HDL. Moreover, the easiest way to consume avocados in your diet is through hummus, guacamole, and avocado smoothies.

2. Seeds

Methi seed can lower LDL cholesterol levels by decreasing its production in the liver. Also, fenugreek reduces triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and increases HDL levels in people who are suffering from diabetes more effectively. Additionally, you can even consume the seeds of pumpkin, sunflower, and basil to increase HDL cholesterol in the human body.

3. Nuts

Here is a list of a few dry fruits that can help increase HDL levels in the human body. Also, consider dry fruits for weight loss. So, let’s have a look:

  • Pistachio: Pista or pistachio nuts can aid in increasing high-density lipoprotein in the human body. Moreover, the consumption of this nut can boost a serum called paraoxonase and arylesterase, which prevent LDL cholesterol oxidation.
  • Cashew: The presence of compounds like oleic acid, phytosterols, and phenols in cashew is perfect for heart health and strengthens your blood vessels. Also, the properties of cashew reduce LDL cholesterol and lower blood pressure.
  • Walnuts: This nut is full of omega-3 fatty acids and is known for its anti-oxidative and anti-cardiovascular disease effects. So, consuming walnuts increases good HDL cholesterol and reduces bad LDL cholesterol in the human body. For instance, consuming 30 grams of walnuts per day will improve the lipid profile of type-2 diabetes patients.
  • Almonds: Almonds are a good source of fiber, magnesium, potassium, vitamin E, etc. All of them are excellent for the human heart. Also, it is best to lower LDL levels while raising HDL levels.

Also Read: Top 10 Foods To Increase HDL: Svasth Rahana Va Sukhee Rahana

4. Healthy Fats and Oils

Healthy fats that increase HDL cholesterol are sesame oil, peanut oil, coconut oil, walnut oil, desi ghee, mustard oil, etc. Such fats in the human body increase lipid profiles and support a healthy heart due to their high monounsaturated omega-3 content.

  • Garlic: So, the presence of the bioactive compound in garlic, called allicin, helps lower triglycerides and prevents plague development. Therefore, incorporating garlic into a regular diet plan will help in lowering harmful cholesterol levels.
  • Fiber-rich Foods: The content of fiber rich foods can help lower harmful cholesterol. Fruits such as grapes, strawberries, gooseberries, pears, apples, etc. aid in lowering LDL cholesterol in the body. Also, high-fiber foods such as oats, barley, wheat, and ragi are the few best choices that increase HDL and lower LDL.

5. Beans and Legumes (Dal)

In many parts of India, dals and beans are considered staple foods. Therefore, incorporating it regularly into your diet is a great way to raise HDL cholesterol. Also, roasted chickpeas, lobia, rajma, soybeans, masoor dal, arhar dal, moong dal, and chana dal are the right sources to increase HDL cholesterol.

6. Green Leafy Vegetables

Leafy greens and vegetables help to lower cholesterol levels by making the human body excrete more cholesterol. Leafy vegetables, for example, sarson saag, spinach, methi, etc., contain lutein and other carotenoids. Thus, it leads to a lower risk of heart disease.

7. Paneer

Cottage cheese, or paneer, is a soft, low-fat ingredient added to numerous Indian dishes. Thus, helps meet human calcium needs without compromising HDL levels.

Fitelo Note: Following healthy-eating guidelines allows you to enjoy Indian cuisine while maintaining HDL cholesterol levels. These above-mentioned foods will definitely help you boost HDL cholesterol. But for remarkable results, seek personalised diet guidance from a qualified nutritionist.

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What Are The Healthy Eating Tips To Maintain Good HDL Levels?

Aside from learning which foods are perfect for increasing HDL, you must also know how to extract the most benefit out of them. So, here we are mentioning some important and healthy tips for maintaining good HDL levels:

  • Stop consuming or limit your consumption of junk foods such as pizza, pastries, creamy pasta, burgers, etc.
  • Set a target of eating at least 4-5 veggies a day.
  • Additionally, limit your salt, sugar, and fatty snack intake. But you can treat yourself once a week.
  • Start including legumes in at least 2-3 meals of your day, like lentils, roasted chickpeas, etc.
  • Switch yourself on to healthy cooking oils, including those made of soybean, canola, sunflower, olive, etc.
  • Also, include eggs in your regular diet.

2-Day Meal Sample Of Indian Diet Plan For Cholesterol

So, here sharing a 2-day diet plan with you:

Day 1


So, let’s have a look:

A Word From Fitelo on How to Increase HDL Cholesterol

According to studies, HDL cholesterol levels are partly determined by genetics. But there are plenty of good things a person can do to naturally increase HDL levels. Such as consuming anti-oxidant- rich foods and healthy fats, coconut oil, and quitting smoking, all these are effective enough for increasing HDL cholesterol levels.

Moreover, including these habits and practices in your regular day-to-day life often provides other overall health benefits to the human body. So, these practices are key components of a healthy lifestyle.

How A Diet Plan Can Help In Burning Calories?

What can happen in 30 days? Are you interested to find out? Let’s watch this informative but short video to understand this concept.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do Eggs Increase HDL?

Ans: Yes, if you include eggs in your regular diet for at least 6 weeks then it will increase your HDL cholesterol by 10% (P < 0.05) and total cholesterol increased 4% (P < 0.05). Also, it will not change the total ratio of cholesterol/HDL. Moreover, serum triglycerides and LDL cholesterol also remained unchanged.

Q: What Happens If Your HDL Is Low?

Ans: So, several studies found that lower HDL cholesterol levels were associated with a higher risk of death from cardiovascular causes, as prior studies have shown. However, there was also a higher risk of death from cancer and other causes compared with those having average levels of HDL cholesterol.

Q: Can Low HDL Be Cured?

Ans: So, to cure your low HDL start exercising such as aerobics. Thus, you can perform this exercise for 30 to 60 minutes on most days of the week can help pump up HDL. 

Q: How To Increase HDL Cholesterol With The Help Of Foods?

Ans: Some foods boost your “good” or HDL cholesterol, such as oats, beans, legumes, olive oil, whole grains, nuts, seeds, fatty fish, and berries. These foods have nutrients and good cholesterol that can increase HDL levels in the body.

Q: Does Omega 3 Increase HDL?

Ans: There’s strong evidence that omega-3 fatty acids can significantly reduce blood triglyceride levels. There also appears to be a slight improvement in high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good”) cholesterol, although an increase in levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) cholesterol also was observed.

Fun Fact

Did you know white butter is a superfood? So, are you interested in finding out how? Click here to find out the answer to this question.

Contact Us Today

Your search to find the right guidance to be a part of all those fat-to-fit stories ends here. So, contact us today if you are looking for a diet plan with cheat meals. Also, we will discuss how we can help you achieve your weight loss goals.


This blog post was written to help you to make healthy and better food choices altogether. So, be aware and take care. The important thing to consider is your own health before starting a diet that is restrictive. Always seek advice from a doctor/dietitian before starting if you have any concerns.

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