You may think that all cholesterol should be a slow as you can get it. However, doctors usually like to see HDL cholesterol higher rather than lower. This is the fraction of the cholesterol that carries fat out of the bloodstream and into the liver, where it can be excreted. Although just trying to raise HDL is overly simplistic, we don’t have very many options for raising it effectively. Exercise works, and so does drinking wine in moderation. (Drinking to excess is not a healthy option for anything.) Could eating kiwifruit also raise your HDL levels?
Two Kiwifruit a Day Bumped HDL Up:
Q. This is more of an answer than a question. Several years ago, I happened to see a segment on TV about the benefits of kiwifruit. The host was talking about a study that showed eating two kiwifruit a day for 8 weeks would increase your good HDL cholesterol by 10 percent.
My HDL had decreased in my most recent blood testing to 43, and I was starting to get worried about it. As a result, I decided to try the recommendation. I began eating two kiwis a day for three months before my next scheduled lipid test. My HDL increased to 49.
Since then, my HDL values have been 50, 57, 53, 63 and 66. I have changed nothing else in that period. I did continue with the two-kiwi-a-day regimen. Beyond being very tasty, kiwifruit has additional benefits of being an excellent source of vitamin C and potassium.
Scientific Studies Suggest Kiwifruit Raises HDL:
A. Thank you for sharing your experience with kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa ‘Hayward’). You are correct that there are data suggesting that consuming kiwifruit can have a positive impact on so-called good HDL cholesterol levels (1, 2, 3).
Not All the Studies Agree:
That said, a recent review of the medical literature concluded that kiwifruit did not improve overall metabolic health (4). Researchers found a trend towards reduced blood pressure and improved lipid levels, but these results weren’t statistically significant.
Since kiwifruit tastes delicious and your HDL cholesterol levels have improved, we are pleased to share your results with our readers. In addition to the nutrients you mention, kiwifruit are rich in fiber that can help gastrointestinal health (5).
Watch Out for Allergy:
One warning: some people are allergic to kiwifruit. They may develop a skin rash or a tingling feeling in the mouth or throat. If this happens, kiwis should be avoided!