How To Increase HDL Cholesterol with Food – Some Best Tips


6 min read

Reviewed by: Dr. Dipa Rani

Cholesterol is a major element that leads to clogging of the arteries, which in turn might lead to several other diseases like cardiovascular disorders. Hence, controlling the level of cholesterol in the body is important.

When considering the level of cholesterol in your body, a number of things are taken into account. Our body has mainly two types of Cholesterol – LDL or low-density lipoprotein and HDL or high-density lipoprotein. LDL is normally called bad cholesterol, while HDL is regarded as good cholesterol. Overall, the LDL levels in our body are required to be limited so that you can enjoy a healthy heart and healthy life. The HDL levels or good cholesterol, on the other hand, can be increased to enhance your health further.

So, what can you do to further the good cholesterol levels in the body? See, good cholesterol in your body comes with High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL). Hence, you can take proper food to enhance HDL, while you must limit some food items to control the LDL levels.  Let’s take a look at how to increase HDL cholesterol with Indian food, in this post.

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Ways to Enhance HDL Cholesterol Level with Food in India?

Cholesterol is a word that connotes the harmful effects of LDL or bad cholesterol in our minds.  However, you may note that not all cholesterol is harmful for that matter.  When we talk about increasing the HDL cholesterol in our body by means of some food items, it variably means that you reduce the level of bad cholesterol in the body while increasing the amount of good cholesterol which is needed to maintain proper cholesterol balance.

It might interest you to note that the HDL cholesterol disseminates the harmful LDL compounds to the liver. The liver in turn breaks it down and disperses rather than letting them accumulate in the heart arteries causing circulation blockage. Hence, controlling LDL and increasing HDL by incorporating simple food items of everyday use can really help to regulate the fluids in our body better.

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Increase HDL by Consuming Beans and Legumes

Beans are legumes or dals as they are commonly termed in India are a part of Indian diet are some foods to increase HDL. Most meals across the country are incomplete without them. In fact, many recipes in India which are eaten regularly are rich in protein, which comes from different varieties of these legumes and beans. Be it a simple meal cooked at home or an authentic thali at a fancy restaurant, dal is predominantly a part of the most Indian cuisine.

Moreover, being staple food in India, dals and beans are found everywhere easily and can easily be used to increase HDL cholesterol. You could include the legumes and beans in your daily food items to increase HDL cholesterol in your body. Take a look at the below-mentioned foods to increase HDL cholesterol:

  • Chickpeas, which are commonly termed as Chhole in India. They are also called Garbanzo beans and are wonderful source of HDL cholesterol
  • Also, equally good are Kidney beans, popularly called as Rajma in Hindi
  • Dried peas are another good source of HDL
  • Also, Black beans should be included in your diet for increasing HDL
  • Other types of dals like Masoor, Moong, Arhar, Chana and whole moong dals are also beneficial for increasing HDL levels

Dals and beans are regularly consumed with rice and chapati in almost all households in India. Further, these legumes can be consumed in the form of other recipes that are created by using other ingredients. They are not just rich in protein, but also contain fibre in some cases. Hence, a cup of legume and beans can let your body get the daily dose of nutrient requirements.

So, prefer including beans like rajma, chickpeas, as well as whole legume dals etc. You can search for easy recipes online to get new and delicious meal recipes with legumes and beans to increase HDL cholesterol in Indian cuisine.

If you are scared of the spices in recipes, you can keep it simple and prepare lentil soups and other simpler dishes. Also, you can try hummus for a healthy way to include chickpeas in your diet.

Ways to Include Whole Grains in Your Diet

We already know the health benefits of whole grains. They are used to increase good cholesterol and thereby lower the likelihood of clogging of arteries in your heart. So, use whole grains like Wheat, Barley, Ragi, Daliya and Oats in your diet to lower LDL and increase HDL. Rotis or chapatis, which are the main staple food in India, are generally made from whole grains. Further, alternatives like Ragi and Barley can also be used for their nutritional values to prepare roti and to increase HDL cholesterol in your breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

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Eat Lots of Fibre Rich Fruits and Vegetables

Fibre-rich fruits and vegetables are the easiest way to increase the level of HDL, while limiting the LDL level. Fruits are a part of the daily diet of people all across the globe. They can be eaten in the form of fruit salads, desserts and so on. It is easy to incorporate fruits even in the form of snacks in between meals to supply the body with HDL.

Similarly, vegetables with high-fibre are also easy to add to your daily diet in the form of curry’s, soups, mixed veg sabzi, and so on. There are numerous ways to prepare and add high-fibre vegetables in your meal. Indian families generally do have one or two dishes of vegetables almost everyday as part of their meals.

The table below has a list of various Indian food items that are HDL cholesterol sources. Have a look:

Seeds Fenugreek
Nuts  Pistachio, Cashew, Walnut, Almonds
Healthy fats and oils Coconut oil, Olive oil, Sesame oil, Peanut oil,

Mustard oil, Walnut oil, Ghee

Fibre-rich Vegetables  Garlic, dark leafy greens like methi, spinach, and Sarson saag
Beans and legumes rajma, lobia, chickpeas, masoor dal, soybean, tur dal, chana dal and moong dal
Fibre-rich fruits strawberries, Grapes, gooseberries, apples and pears
Other high-fibre food Oats, barley, wheat, and ragi, paneer

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To Sum up

As discussed above, there is a wide choice of HDL rich food items that can be used to increase the level of HDL cholesterol, while lowering the LDL level with various food items we generally consume on a daily basis.  All you need is to look for recipes with ingredients mentioned above. You can combine various fibre-rich vegetables together to prepare khichdi with Dalia, or use dals with roti, rice to serve as HDL food etc. Further, you can eat boiled forms of the above-mentioned food items.

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FAQs: How To Increase HDL Cholesterol with Food

What foods raise HDL the most?

Good cholesterol or HDL can be boosted through food like berries. oats, beans, legumes, olive oil, whole grains, nuts, seeds, fatty fish, and so on.

How to improve HDL naturally?

It can be done by eating healthy fats like olive oil, coconut oil, and fatty fish, and avoiding harmful trans fats. Also, you must do regular exercise, quit bad habits like smoking. You may also consume antioxidant-rich foods for effectively increasing HDL cholesterol.

Name some Indian food items which increase HDL cholesterol?

Chickpeas, rajma, lobia, soybeans, masoor dal, Arhar dal, moong dal, and chana dal are great ingredients to increase HDL cholesterol.

Does fruit increase HDL?

Yes, berries are a great source of fruit that boosts your fibre intake to improve good cholesterol levels. In fact, berries are known as high-fibre fruits.

What to include in an Indian breakfast for cholesterol patients?

Oats Idli, Ragi Dosa, Oats Upma, Moong dal chilla etc.

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Apr 11, 2023
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PayBima is an Indian insurance aggregator on a mission to make insurance simple for people. PayBima is the Digital arm of the already established and trusted Mahindra Insurance Brokers Ltd., a reputed name in the insurance broking industry with 17 years of experience. PayBima promises you the easy-to-access online platform to buy insurance policies, and also extend their unrelented assistance with all your policy related queries and services.

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