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Improve your good cholesterol levels

You probably won't be surprised to learn that people with heart disease often have low good cholesterol (HDL). While it's important to reduce the level of bad cholesterol, it's also important not to ignore good cholesterol.

Research has shown that normal and high levels of HDL in the blood can protect our heart. Here are some tips for keeping your good cholesterol up:

Exercise regularly - Aim to get at least 30 minutes of brisk walking daily.

Eat monounsaturated fats, found in avocado oil, olive oil and peanut butter, among other things.

Eat soluble fibres such as whole grains, oats, vegetables and brown rice.

Eat omega-3 acids. These are mostly found in oily fish and dark green vegetables.

Cook in oils that increase 'good' cholesterol (canola oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, flaxseed oil). Avoid less healthy cooking oils.

Avoid the intake of transfatty acids (found in fast foods, baked goods and butter

Avoid eating refined carbohydrates. These are commonly found in sugar, refined flour, white rice, white bread, sugary cereals, pasta and noodles

Avoid consumption of saturated fats - these will raise bad cholesterol and be detrimental to good cholesterol levels. These fats are found in many meat and dairy products.

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