Good Fats = Good Cholesterol

Medically reviewed in October 2021

Avocados, nuts, olives and seeds—even if you have high cholesterol, don't give 'em up.

In case you haven't quite gotten the whole good-fats-versus-bad-fats thing down yet, unsaturated fats are your friends when it comes to lowering bad cholesterol (LDL) and raising good cholesterol (HDL). So if your salad looks a little dull tonight, make your stomach and your arteries happy: Toss in some walnuts, sunflower seeds or avocado and use a dressing made with olive oil. Then, eat up.

To make your diet heart-healthy, choose foods that contain unsaturated fat rather than saturated, and stay away from trans fat altogether. How can you tell the difference? Almost all plant-based fats are the heart-healthy kind (i.e. good fats), unless they have been hydrogenated. Cook with natural, unhydrogenated canola, sesame or vegetable oil instead of butter, shortening or stick margarine. On sandwiches, skip the mayo and spread on a moist, flavorful alternative like mustard, hummus or crushed-olive tapenade. Just remember: Heart-healthy or not, you still need to limit total fat consumption to about 30 percent of your daily diet to obtain good cholesterol levels and more.

More On

How Can I Raise My HDL Level Naturally?

video

How Can I Raise My HDL Level Naturally?
What You Need to Know About High Cholesterol

article

What You Need to Know About High Cholesterol
Cholesterol is one of the major markers of heart health. More than 73 million Americans have too much LDL cholesterol, which can lead to hardening of ...
My Story: William and High Cholesterol

video

My Story: William and High Cholesterol
Are There Solutions to Statin Intolerance?

video

Are There Solutions to Statin Intolerance?
Can High Cholesterol Be Prevented?

video

Can High Cholesterol Be Prevented?
I would say, that somewhere around 90% of cases of high cholesterol could be prevented. By preventing means doing something very different from most o...