HDL is high density lipoprotein. Lipoproteins are the protein that carry cholesterol through the blood stream. Cholesterol is the waxy substance that is found in all the body cells. It helps build the cells and has various other functions. HDL cholesterol is also known as good cholesterol as it helps eliminate the bad cholesterol from bloodstream.
Before learning the natural ways to increase good cholesterol let us know the favorable level of HDL. HDL cholesterol level is measured through the routine blood test and the measuring unit is milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). Your blood test report for cholesterol level is included under lipid profile panel or cholesterol panel. High level of HDL (good cholesterol) levels indicates the person is at a lower risk of stroke and heart attack.
|| AT RISK
|| DESIRABLE LEVEL
||Less than 40 mg/dL
|| 60 mg/dL or above
||Less than 50 mg/dL
||60 mg/dL or above
How HDL helps?
The high level of bad cholesterol (LDL) over time can deposit on the blood vessels, making them hard and narrow. When your blood report indicates a high cholesterol level it means your good cholesterol level is low and your bad cholesterol level is high. This condition can put you at a higher risk of developing heart problems. Good cholesterol i.e HDL takes away the bad cholesterol from the bloodstream to the liver.
Ways to improve HDL level
Fortunately, you have control over changing cholesterol levels. HDL levels can be improved with diet and lifestyle modifications. Eating the right food at the correct time can help lower the bad cholesterol and improves the ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol. There are plenty of Indian foods that can increase HDL cholesterol.
Indian foods to improve HDL cholesterol
Indian food is all around the world. Move it to any corner of the world you will find the flavor and taste of India. Indian foods are not just good to taste but also offer various health benefits.
The Indian spices and the Indian food culture are as good for health as it smells and as it looks. Dal, rice, curd, roti, etc are our routine foods and when consumed with a bit of intelligence can support good health and heart. We shall list below some of the daily consumed Indian foods that can help increase HDL cholesterol.
It includes legumes and beans. Beans and legumes are high in minerals and fiber. It helps improve the level of blood cholesterol and can prevent heart problems.
A major part of Indian food recipes includes the use of dals in a variety of forms. Being one of the staple foods, it is a great source of increasing HDL cholesterol. Some of the most common dals are rajma (kidney beans), chickpeas, chana dal, moong dal, arhar dal, masoor dal, black beans, etc.
Pulses can be consumed in the form of dal, chila, dhokla, etc. These are rich in protein and some of them are high in fiber. While preparing it make sure not to include excess salt.
Go for seasonal veggies. Incorporating fresh vegetables into your diet increases your fiber intake and other vitamins and minerals. Vegetables can be eaten in a form of sabji, added to soup, veg pulao, khichdi, upma or dalia, etc. Dark green leafy vegetables can help flush out bad cholesterol.
Carrots, broccoli, spinach, beans, garlic, cauliflower, etc are some heart-friendly vegetables. Being rich in fiber, eating vegetables support heart health by –
- Lowering the bad cholesterol, improves the ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol
- Reduces blood pressure
- Improves the function of blood vessels
Tea is the most common and widely consumed beverage all over India. Swapping milk tea for black tea, green tea or herb-infused tea helps improve cholesterol levels and support health.
Herbs have been used for various purposes since ancient times. Green tea or herbal tea contains anti-oxidants that are known to decrease bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol. Sipping green tea or herbal tea can do many good to your health.
Whole grain offers many health benefits which also include supporting a healthy heart. Wheat, ragi, daliya, oats, barley, bajra, brown rice, etc are included in whole grains. Eating whole grains can reduce the risk of heart disease. Whole grains support heart health by –
- Reducing high blood pressure
- Helps reduce body fats
- Improve the level of good cholesterol
- Lowers the risk of diabetes
You can increase the intake of whole grains by swapping white bread for whole grain bread, bread roll to multigrain bread rolls, etc. Whole grains are nutritious and taking them with other foods supports heart health. We recommend taking at least three servings of whole-grain foods. Also, it is important to look for the quality of whole grains before adding them to your diet plan.
Fruits have the potential to improve heart health. Being rich in nutrients they are good for reducing bad cholesterol and help reduce weight. Weight loss helps improve heart health.
We suggest eating four servings of whole fruits to improve heart health and blood pressure. Fruits are rich in fiber and potassium which helps prevent high blood pressure and improve the function of blood vessels. Apples, apricots, bananas, berries, oranges, and grapefruit are some heart-friendly fruits.
Regular consumption of curd prevents heart disease and controls the cholesterol level. Eating curds can help prevent blood pressure and reduce the risk of high cholesterol. For a healthy heart, it is advised to eat low-fat curd made at home.
It is not what the name sounds like. Instead drinking buttermilk provides vitamins, minerals, and probiotics that are excellent for overall health and managing ideal weight. Drinking buttermilk can help reduce bad cholesterol and prevent heart problems.
No single food will benefit your heart health. Including various foods in your diet helps improve heart health. Limiting salt intake and losing weight can prevent heart problems, reduce cholesterol levels and improve overall heart health.