High levels of omega-3 fatty acids, or what researchers refer to as fish oils, make salmon a shoe-in when it comes to improving levels of HDL, or “good” cholesterol. In a study from the Western Human Nutrition Research Center, HDL levels shot up 10% when volunteers (all with normal lipid levels) ate a salmon-rich diet for 20 days. Another study found that men with high triglyceride levels can lower blood fat (a vehicle for transporting fat to cells) by 24% with supplements of fish oils, particularly oils found in fatty fish like salmon.
How much is good? The American Heart Association advises eating fish twice per week, particularly fatty varieties like salmon, sardines, mackeral, and albacore tuna.