Hectic days and busy nights: Who has time to cook? That’s why many of us rely on the grab-and-go ease of processed foods.
There’s a downside, though.
These meals are high in fat, salt, and sugar, but deficient in healthy nutrients like calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber. Consuming too much fast foods and processed food items can lead to an increase in cholesterol. That’s why these foods are called high cholesterol foods.
If you have high cholesterol, this article is for you. Let’s explore healthy foods for cholesterol and unhealthy foods to avoid.
What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a waxy molecule that aids in the support of cell membranes, the production of hormones, digestion, and the conversion of vitamin D in the skin.
What are the forms of Cholesterol in Body?
Cholesterol comes in two major forms:
- LDL (low-density lipoprotein), or “bad” cholesterol
- HDL (high-density lipoprotein), or “good” cholesterol
LDLs deposit one type of cholesterol throughout the body. This kind of cholesterol can build up in blood vessels and lead to serious complications. That’s why it is referred to as ‘bad’ cholesterol.
HDLs, on the other hand, collect LDL cholesterol from the arteries and bring it back to the liver for disposal. For this reason, it is referred to as ‘good’ cholesterol.
A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and good fats can help lower bad cholesterol. You have a greater chance of getting heart disease when your LDL level gets too high.
Why Should You Avoid Cholesterol?
Cholesterol travels in the circulation, and having too much of it can harm your body, particularly your heart.
Plaque is a buildup on the walls of blood vessels. It can form when you have too much LDL cholesterol in your system. This deposit narrows the blood vessels, obstructing the proper flow of blood throughout the body and increasing the risk of a heart attack or other complications.
Specialists advise that you consume no more than 300 mg of dietary cholesterol every day.
A great part of the health secret lies in what you eat. So, avoid high cholesterol foods to restrain serious damage to your body organs.
Foods to Avoid with High Cholesterol
Deep-fried meats and cheese sticks are rich in cholesterol and should be avoided whenever feasible.These are called trans-fats.
Furthermore, fried food consumption has been associated with an increased risk of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.
People who eat fast food frequently have greater cholesterol, more belly fat, higher levels of inflammation, and poor blood sugar control.
Eat fewer processed foods and cook more meals at home.
It is linked with lowering body weight, body fat, and heart disease risk factors such as high LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Processed meats contain significant levels of cholesterol and should be avoided.
Increased incidences of heart disease and colon cancer have been related to high consumption of these foods.
Cookies, cakes, ice cream, pastries, and other sweets are heavy in cholesterol, sugar, bad fats, and calories.
Consuming these meals on a regular basis may have a detrimental impact on your health and lead to weight gain over time.
Obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and mental decline have all been related to added sugar consumption. These high cholesterol foods are frequently deficient in essential elements such as vitamins, minerals, protein, and healthy fats that your body requires to thrive.
Now, we know what foods to cut from our daily life to avoid high cholesterol levels. There are some high cholesterol foods which are healthy and you must consume to have overall health and well-being.
High Cholesterol Foods That are Healthy
Here is a list of high cholesterol foods that are incredibly nutritious.
Eggs are one of the healthiest things you can consume. They’re also heavy in cholesterol, with one large egg (50 grammes) containing 207 milligrammes.
Eggs are generally avoided because they are thought to raise cholesterol levels in the blood.
They do not elevate cholesterol levels and, in fact, eating whole eggs may increase heart-protective HDL (good) cholesterol.
Aside from being a high cholesterol food, eggs are a good source of highly absorbable protein and minerals like selenium, vitamin A, and a variety of B vitamins.
For healthy people, eating 1–3 eggs per day is absolutely safe.
A single slice of swiss cheese has around 20 mg of cholesterol.
Cheese is frequently linked to higher cholesterol/ However, full-fat cheese does not enhance cholesterol levels.
Although the nutritional value of different types of cheese varies, they all contain a considerable quantity of calcium, protein, vitamin A, and B vitamins.
To keep quantities in check, stick to the suggested serving size of 1–2 ounces at a time, as cheese is high in calories.
Full-fat yogurt is a high cholesterol food. It contains protein, calcium, phosphorus, B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, and potassium, among other nutrients.
Full-fat yogurt has 31.8 mg of cholesterol per cup.
Increased consumption of full-fat fermented dairy products has been linked to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as a lower risk of stroke, heart disease, and diabetes.
In addition, fermented dairy products like yogurt promote intestinal health by promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.
Read more about the health benefits of yogurt.
Shellfish, such as clams, crab, and shrimp, are high in protein, B vitamins, iron, and selenium.
They also have a lot of cholesterol. A 3-ounce portion of canned shrimp contains 214 mg of cholesterol.
Shellfish also include bioactive components such carotenoid antioxidants and the amino acid taurine, both of which assist to prevent heart disease and reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol.
People who eat more fish have lower incidences of heart disease, diabetes, and inflammatory disorders like arthritis than those who eat less seafood.
Some Healthy Ways to Lower Your Cholesterol Levels
Certain lifestyle and dietary changes can reduce LDL levels and create a more favorable LDL-to-HDL ratio.
Here are healthy ways to lower your cholesterol levels:
Eat More Fiber
Eating more fiber, especially soluble fiber found in fruits, beans, and oats, may help reduce bad cholesterol levels.
Increase Physical Activity
Becoming more physically active is an excellent way to lower your cholesterol levels. High intensity aerobic exercise seems to be the most effective way to reduce LDL.
Losing excess body weight is one of the best ways to lower your cholesterol levels. It can reduce LDL while increasing HDL, which is optimal for health.
Read more about best exercises for weight loss.
Cut Back on Unhealthy Habits
Quitting unhealthy habits such as smoking can significantly reduce LDL levels. Smoking raises LDL cholesterol levels and greatly increases the risk of cancer, heart disease, and emphysema.
Putting it all Together!
High cholesterol foods aren’t all created equal. While some foods are healthy, such as eggs and full-fat yogurt, others might be harmful to your health.
Though most people can safely consume the healthful cholesterol-rich foods listed above, everyone should avoid high-cholesterol items such as fried dishes, sweets, and processed meats.
Remember that just because something has a lot of cholesterol in it doesn’t mean it can’t be part of a healthy diet.
Consult with a well-known cardiologist in Lahore to know more about cholesterol’s bad impacts for your heart. Book an appointment via Healthwire.pk or call at (042) 32500989.