Foods to Increase HDL
Walnuts are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids and may reduce the risk for heart disease. Walnuts are most beneficial when used to replace less healthy fats, such as saturated fat from meat; however, they have not been shown to increase HDL or lower LDL.
Dietary use of garlic may lower some types of cholesterol in the short term, but it does not appear to offer long-term protection against heart disease. Garlic may help to reduce LDL ("bad" cholesterol) and triglycerides. However, this has not been shown be an HDL-increasing food.
Moderate alcohol intake actually does increase HDL cholesterol levels, but does not lower LDL cholesterol. Research studies have shown that HDL can be raised, on average, by 4.0 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) with moderate alcohol consumption.
(Click Alcohol and High Cholesterol for more information.)
Although at this point, there are no proven HDL-increasing foods, there are a number of other natural ways to increase it. These include:
- Losing weight, if you are overweight
- Quitting smoking, if you smoke
(Click Raising HDL for more information.)