All you Need to Know About How to Increase HDL Cholesterol


Medically reviewed by

Bajaj Finserv Health


5 min read


One of the ways to ensure good health is to make sure your cholesterol levels are in check. Though all are scared of cholesterol, high-density cholesterol, or HDL, is quite beneficial for the body. Read on to this blog to learn some effective ways to increase HDL cholesterol.

Key Takeaways

  • HDL, or good cholesterol, helps reduce the risk of contracting cardiovascular diseases and other illnesses
  • Healthy eating and healthy living can help the body regulate the levels of good cholesterol and bad cholesterol
  • Foods rich in fibre and antioxidants can help reduce bad cholesterol while increasing HDL

If you are concerned about how to increase HDL cholesterol level, the ways are simple. The word ‘Cholesterol’ makes everyone fear, as it is associated with multiple health risks such as heart attack, diabetes, etc. However, did you know that not all cholesterol is bad? Two cholesterol types are there in the human body. There is the bad cholesterol, one of the causes of different cardiovascular diseases, and then there is the good cholesterol, which flushes out the bad cholesterol from your body and ensures that plaques are not built within your body. 

Bad cholesterol is termed Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol or non-HDL cholesterol, while good cholesterol is known as High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL). These two have entirely different functions in the body. This blog highlights how to increase HDL cholesterol and maintain a balance between HDL and LDL.

Ways to Increase HDL Cholesterol

High-density Lipoprotein, or HDL, has a high density of proteins and a low amount of fats. On the other hand, low-density cholesterol has more fat and less protein. Bad cholesterol accumulated in the body leads to a risk of diseases; hence, it needs to be flushed out of the body as early as possible. This is the task of HDL, which carries LDL to the liver, from which it is flushed out. Therefore, having a high degree of HDL in the body is always beneficial. Experts recommend that the HDL cholesterol normal range for the average adult male to be 40 mg/dl while it is 50 mg/dl for adult females. [1] Anything above 60mg/dl is considered high, and you should get a doctor’s consultation if you have high HDL cholesterol.

How to increase HDL cholesterol? It requires an entire lifestyle change that has to be incorporated into your everyday life. It includes a combination of the right diet as well as the right exercise. If you follow it properly, then it is possible to increase HDL in one month. Here are some ways to increase HDL cholesterol:

Exercise regularly

Exercise will be the perfect answer if you want to learn how to increase HDL cholesterol. Not only does it play a huge role in improving your overall health and well-being, but it also helps increase HDL cholesterol in your body. High-intensity training is a great source of good cholesterol. 

You can also include other forms of exercise, such as running, swimming, speed walking, and so on, to see your cholesterol levels increase. Exercise helps in two ways - not only does it raise HDL cholesterol, but it also causes you to lose weight, which is another way of naturally increasing the level of HDL cholesterol in your body. 

Quit smoking

Puffing away at a cigarette comes with numerous health risks. It causes the level of bad cholesterol to go up and reduces good cholesterol. Smoking inhibits the synthesis and maturation of HDL cholesterol and can lead to serious heart-related health conditions. [2] However, once you give it up, you will see a marked increase in HDL cholesterol level since natural synthesis resumes. So, quitting smoking can be very effective if you are curious about how to increase HDL cholesterol.Additional Read: Cholesterol Normal RangeHow to Increase HDL Cholesterol

Dietary restrictions

Dietary restrictions are one of the best ways if you are concerned about how to increase HDL cholesterol levels in the body. 

Reduce the carbohydrate intake

Foods high in carbohydrates are one of the major causes that lead to an increased level of bad cholesterol. On the other hand, foods rich in fibre are the best source of foods to increase HDL cholesterol.

Reduce the intake of non-vegetarian food

Meaty foods have trans fats that increase the bad cholesterol while keeping the good ones at bay. Therefore, the expert’s recommendation is to lay off meat and start eating fibre-rich foods such as veggies, fruits, fish, and so on. 

Reduce the intake of high-fat oil

Discussing how to increase HDL cholesterol, another recommendation is to stay off the high-fatty oils and switch to low-fat oils such as olive oil. Coconut oil can also be used, though it could lead to an increase in LDL cholesterol in the body and be a source of a high saturated fat content. However, being cheaper than other sources of rich HDL, coconut oil can also be used in moderation to ensure that your HDL levels increase.

Reduce sugar intake

Another killer food that we often overlook is sugar. Contrary to its sweet taste, it is quite bitter for your body when it comes to keeping you fit and healthy. The sugar content in fresh fruits is quite good, but it is the added sugar you get from drinking too much tea, soft drinks, and so on. It not only reduces HDL but also increases bad fat. Taking them in higher amounts will require you to put in much effort to reduce health risks. It is a good idea to cut down on those low-card sugars that are advertised if you are concerned about how to increase HDL cholesterol. Just stick with natural sugars, and you are halfway to becoming healthy, reducing the risks of cardiovascular diseases.

 Increase HDL Cholesterol

Include antioxidant-rich food in the diet

The recommended food for high HDL cholesterol levels is rich in antioxidants. They reduce or delay cell damage and play a vital role in keeping you healthy. These foods are the perfect answer if you want to know how to increase HDL cholesterol. A few examples of such foods are dark chocolate, nuts, avocados, and the like.

Increase grains intake

It is also recommended to eat whole grains if you are serious about how to increase good cholesterol. Supplement your high-carb diet, such as white rice with whole grains, and you will see the difference yourself.

If none of the above methods is working, then it is time to consult a doctor to learn how to increase HDL cholesterol. Doctors will prescribe you medicines or dietary supplements that help reduce LDL cholesterol levels and increase your good cholesterol or HDL level.

Additional Read: Cholesterol Test

In this post, we have explained what good and bad cholesterol is and how to increase HDL cholesterol. If you still have doubts, you can get a doctor consultation from the experts at Bajaj Finserv Health, which is dedicated to ensuring that you stay in good shape. 

You can book appointments with doctors and lab tests to test your cholesterol levels on the portal. With the careful guidance of a doctor, you can achieve your cholesterol goals effortlessly and much faster. 

Published on 31 Mar 2023Last updated on 28 Apr 2023

Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.


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