7 Foods You Should Avoid If You Have High Cholesterol

7 Foods You Should Avoid If You Have High Cholesterol

Cholesterol is an organic molecule of fat found in every cell of the body and in the blood of all animals. It is essential for the proper functioning of our cell membranes and production of hormones. While there can be negative health benefits associated with low cholesterol, cholesterol deficiency is rare.  High levels of cholesterol are far more common and are often linked to unhealthy eating habits. Those with high cholesterol are also more prone to heart disease and stroke. Cholesterol is mostly found in animal food products, and thus, vegetarians are likely to have lower cholesterol than non-vegetarians.

1 . Margarine

Once thought to be a healthy alternative to butter, margarine can be just as loaded with cholesterol.  Since margarine is made from unsaturated vegetable oils, most people assumed it would be better than butter, which was known to contain a lot of cholesterol and saturated fat.  Research shows that margarine can be worse for high cholesterol than butter.  This is because margarine contains large amounts of trans fats from partially hydrogenated oils.

2 . Red meat

Red meats like beef, lamb and pork tend to contain more cholesterol and saturated fat than other meats. This can increase cholesterol levels and make already existing heart disease worse.  Healthy alternatives to red meat include vegetable proteins like beans, chicken (not fried), and fish such as salmon which is high in heart healthy Omega3 fatty acids.

3 . Egg yolk 

Egg yolks are high in cholesterol. A single egg yolk will provide 210mg of cholesterol while a whole egg provides only 212mg of cholesterol.  Thus all the cholesterol in eggs is found in its yolk.  Regulate your intake of eggs to reduce your consumption of cholesterol.

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4 . Butter

We Indians love butter; we spread it everywhere on our bread, cakes, parathas and Indian cuisines. 100 g of butter packs in 215 mg of cholesterol and one tablespoon contains 30 mg.  So go easy on butter even if you have slightly elevated cholesterol levels.

5 . Milk products

Limit milk products that contain more than 1% milk fat. This includes cream, most cheeses and nondairy coffee creamers or whipped topping.  Instead, go for fat-free or low-fat milk and low-fat cheeses.

6 . Tropical plant foods

Certain plant foods, which include cocoa butter, palm kernel oil, palm oil, coconut oil and coconut, have saturated fat. However, it is advisable to look for hidden saturated fats by reading the labels and make smart choices for the purchase of such products.

7 . Refined carbohydrates

Excessive carbohydrates laden foods boost LDL cholesterol as they ultimately convert to fatty substances. These foods include hard margarine, buttery popcorn, candies, cookies, pizzas, potato chips, white rice, and pastas. Most of these are primarily made with eggs, cheese, butter, cream and milk with loads of salt, sugar and trans fat.  This trans-fat clogs arteries resulting in causing symptoms of stroke and cardiovascular diseases. Reduce the consumption of these foods to maintain a healthy level of cholesterol.

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