Reducing your low-density liprotein, or LDL, cholesterol levels helps to decrease your cardiovascular risk. You risk factor can also be significantly reduced by increasing your high-density, or HDL, cholesterol levels, reports the American Heart Association. HDL protects your blood vessels and heart. It also retrieves cholesterol from your blood and brings it to the liver for excretion.
Fatty fish sources, such as lake trout, sardines, mackerel, halibut, herring, tuna and salmon, contain omega-3 fatty nutrients. The American Heart Association reports these fats are necessary for normal brain function, as well as growth and development, but they can also reduce cardiovascular diseases. These nutrients help to raise your HDL and lower your LDL. DHA and EPA, ingredients that make up omega-3 nutrients, has been shown to reduce abnormal heartbeats and heart disease.
Nuts are a beneficial source of nutrients that protect your cardiovascular health. The Harvard School of Public Health notes that people who eat nuts on a regular basis are less likely to die from strokes or heart attacks. Nuts contain monounsaturated fats, which raise HDL cholesterol and reduce LDL cholesterol. Walnuts contain omega-3 nutrients, which protect your heart from blood clots and artery plaque.
Substituting unhealthy cooking oils for healthier ones can have many benefits. Certain vegetables oils can elevate your HDL cholesterol level. Corn, canola, soybean, peanut, flaxseed and olive oils are HDL foods because they contain monounsaturated fats that promote cardiovascular health, notes the Harvard School of Public Health. They also lower bad cholesterol levels.
The American Heart Association notes that avocados are a healthy source of monounsaturated fat, which promotes healthy heart functions and increases HDL. Avocados also contain several vitamins such as vitamins C, K, E and folate. You can enjoy avocados individually or in other foods like casseroles or fruit mixes.
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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.