It's easy to get answers about health and nutrition! Just send your question by email to [email protected] and Dr. Harlan will respond to selected questions of general interest. Answers will be posted in the Ask Dr. Gourmet newsletter (sign up now!) and archived in the Ask Dr. Gourmet section of the website.

Please note that the Ask Dr. Gourmet feature is restricted to questions regarding food and nutrition. Due to the many questions we receive, not all questions may be answered. For more specific questions about your individual health, please contact your doctor. About Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP, CCMS | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy



Ask Dr. Gourmet

What foods will help improve cholesterol scores?

What type of foods help to raise HDL (good) cholesterol? Could you send me a list of foods for a low fat, low cholesterol diet? My husband just had 3 stents put in. He's only 45 and I need to know what kind of meals to cook him.

Dr. Gourmet Says....

a filet of seared halibut topped with a sauce made of roasted cherry tomatoes, sliced garlic, and capers

I am so sorry about your husband's health issues. I am hoping that he is doing better.

The main foods that might have a positive effect on HDL (good) cholesterol are those that are high in unsaturated fats, especially monounsaturated fats like Omega 3 fats. You can find these in fatty fish like salmon, tuna, halibut and cod. Many nuts and seeds are also very high in monounsaturated fats.

There is no specific list of foods, but there is a style of eating that can help. By moving more toward a Mediterranean style diet that limits the amount of red meats while increasing fish, vegetables, whole grains, and "good fats," research shows that this can lead to major improvements in one's health.

You can find out more in our What is a Mediterranean Diet? section. All of the recipes on the Dr. Gourmet website are designed around this style of diet.

Thanks for writing,

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP
Dr. Gourmet