Foods to Avoid Because of High Cholesterol And What To Eat

Foods to Avoid Because of High Cholesterol And What To Eat – Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is found in the fats (lipids) in your bloodstream. It is produced by your liver and can also be found in certain foods. Cholesterol is essential for the body’s normal functioning, and too much in the body or bloodstream can be termed ” high cholesterol, while high cholesterol medical term is lipid disorder, hyperlipidemia, or hypercholesterolemia. Hyperlipidemia is above normal lipid (fat) levels in the blood, which include several types of lipids, including triglycerides. Hypercholesterolemia is above normal levels of LDL or total cholesterol in your blood. It doesn’t include triglycerides.[1]

It can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, diet, and lifestyle. High cholesterol can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other health complications.

Fortunately, there are dietary changes that can be made to help lower cholesterol levels. This article will outline the foods that should be avoided due to their high cholesterol content and best foods to eat to maintain health.

Foods to Avoid

  • Red Meat – Red meat is high in saturated fat, which can raise cholesterol levels. Instead, choose lean meats like chicken, turkey, or fish.
  • Processed Meats – Processed meats like bacon, sausage, and hot dogs are high in saturated fat and cholesterol. Try to limit your intake of these foods or choose lower-fat options.
  • Dairy Products – Dairy products like cheese, butter, and cream are high in saturated fat and cholesterol. Try to choose low-fat or fat-free options instead.
  • Fried Foods – Fried foods like French fries, fried chicken, and onion rings are high in trans fats, which can raise cholesterol levels.
  • Fast Food – Fast food is often high in saturated fat, trans fats, and cholesterol. Limit your intake of fast food or choose healthier options when available.
  • Baked Goods – Baked goods like pastries, cakes, and cookies are often high in trans fats, which can raise cholesterol levels. Choose healthier snacks like fruit, nuts, or low-fat yogurt.
  • Egg Yolks – Egg yolks are high in cholesterol. While it is okay to eat eggs in moderation, try to limit your intake of egg yolks and choose egg whites instead.
  • Shellfish – Shellfish like shrimp and lobster are high in cholesterol. Try to limit your intake of these foods or choose lower-cholesterol options like fish.
  • Coconut Oil – Coconut oil is high in saturated fat, which can raise cholesterol levels. Try to limit your use of coconut oil and choose healthier oils like olive oil or canola oil.
  • Margarine – Margarine is often high in trans fats, which can raise cholesterol levels. Choose healthier spreads like avocado or hummus instead.

Best foods for high cholesterol: What To eat 

If you have high cholesterol, making dietary changes can be an effective way to help lower your levels. Here are some of the best foods to eat for high cholesterol:

  • Oats: Oats contain a type of soluble fiber called beta-glucan, which can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.

  • Nuts: Nuts like almonds and walnuts are high in healthy fats, fiber, and plant sterols, which can help lower cholesterol levels.

  • Fatty fish: Fatty fish like salmon and mackerel are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help lower triglycerides and LDL cholesterol levels.

  • Olive oil: Olive oil is a healthy source of monounsaturated fats, which can help lower LDL cholesterol levels.

  • Fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber and antioxidants, which can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.

  • Legumes: Legumes like beans and lentils are high in fiber and protein, which can help lower cholesterol levels.

  • Avocado: Avocado is high in monounsaturated fats and fiber, which can help lower LDL cholesterol levels.

  • Whole grains: Whole grains like brown rice and quinoa are high in fiber, which can help lower cholesterol levels.

  • Garlic: Garlic has been shown to help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.

  • Green tea: Green tea contains compounds called catechins, which can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Incorporating these foods into your diet can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. It is also important to limit your intake of saturated and trans fats, which can raise cholesterol levels.

FAQs

Q: What are some foods that can help lower cholesterol levels?

A: Foods like oats, nuts, and legumes can help lower cholesterol levels.

Q: Can exercise help lower cholesterol levels?

A: Yes, regular exercise can help lower cholesterol levels and improve overall health.

Q: Is it okay to eat eggs if you have high cholesterol?

A: Yes, it is okay to eat eggs in moderation. Try to limit your intake of egg yolks and choose egg whites instead.

Q: Are there any supplements that can help lower cholesterol levels?

A: Some supplements like fish oil and plant sterols have been shown to help lower cholesterol levels, but you should talk to your doctor before taking any supplements.

Q: Can medications be used to lower cholesterol levels?

A: Yes, medications like statins can be used to help lower cholesterol levels, but they should only be taken under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

Q: Is it possible to lower cholesterol levels without medication?

A: Yes, making dietary changes and increasing physical activity can help lower cholesterol levels without medication.

Q: Can stress affect cholesterol levels?

A: Yes, stress can affect cholesterol levels. Chronic stress can lead to unhealthy behaviors like overeating and a sedentary lifestyle, which can raise cholesterol levels.

Q: How often should I get my cholesterol levels checked?

A: You should get your cholesterol levels checked regularly, especially if you have a family history of high cholesterol or heart disease. Your doctor can advise you on how often you should get your cholesterol levels checked based on your individual risk factors.

Q: Can children have high cholesterol?

A: Yes, children can have high cholesterol, especially if they have a family history of high cholesterol or if they are overweight. It is important for children to eat a healthy diet and get regular exercise to help prevent high cholesterol.

Q: Can I still eat meat if I have high cholesterol?

A: Yes, you can still eat meat if you have high cholesterol, but you should choose lean meats like chicken, turkey, or fish and limit your intake of red meat. It is also important to prepare meat in a healthy way, such as grilling or baking instead of frying.

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