Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
While scientists have long known that niacin increases the levels of HDL (good) cholesterol in the blood, until now they haven’t understood exactly how this happens. Recently, research by the Atherosclerosis Research Center in Long Beach, California, found that niacin keeps the liver from removing HDL cholesterol from the blood. Even better, it does this while allowing the removal of cholesterols like LDL (bad) and triglycerides. To get more niacin in your diet, eat foods such as chicken, beef, tuna, salmon, whole grains, legumes and vegetables such as mushrooms, beans and peas.