Foods To Avoid With High Cholesterol – A Smart Way To Keep Cholesterol Levels In Your Control!
Did you get your cholesterol check-up done yet? Does your report show a reading above 200 milligrams per deciliter? If yes, there is an immediate need for you to prepare this big list of foods to avoid with high cholesterol!
Cholesterol levels in men tend to increase with the onset of age! Men who are above 45 years are at a high risk!
What is even more surprising is that men who appear lean may also contain high cholesterol levels. If this is left untreated, there is a high chance of heart diseases and strokes.
However, women may also experience a surge in their cholesterol level during menopause but it is men who are young as well as old who are at a great risk.
But, you must know that there is good cholesterol too! HDL (High-density lipoprotein cholesterol) is what your body needs to reduce the risk of heart diseases.
Still confused about whether to have a high or low cholesterol? Here is a clear picture to boost your knowledge about the right type of cholesterol!
What Should Be Your Exact Cholesterol Reading?
Cholesterol levels in our body are measured in the terms of total, good and bad cholesterol. Note that the levels of total cholesterol and LDL (bad cholesterol) should be low and the levels of HDL (good cholesterol) should be high.
Since cholesterol is a waxy substance, it does not get mixed with the blood which is why it is carried around by certain lipoproteins which are of two type – Low-density lipoproteins and high-density lipoproteins.
Low-density lipoproteins (LDL cholesterol) get accumulated in the arteries which is why it is referred to as bad cholesterol.
High-density lipoproteins (HDL cholesterol) on the other hand works in eliminating the bad cholesterol from the body by disposing it off to the liver which is why it is referred to as good cholesterol.
How To Manage Your Cholesterol Levels?
While knowing what not to eat for high cholesterol is to some extent beneficial for managing cholesterol levels, knowing some simple yet effective tips is also an added advantage to safeguard your heart from diseases and strokes.
So, let us first take a look at the list of foods to avoid with high cholesterol and then look at some interesting lifestyle changes that you can make so as to keep your heart healthy and safe!
8 Foods To Avoid With High Cholesterol – What Not To Eat For High Cholesterol?
Knowing which type of fat is entering your body is very much essential for keeping cholesterol in control because it is the fats and fatty acids that are responsible for producing cholesterol.
Production of good and bad cholesterol again depends on the type of fat present in the foods!
You must strictly avoid those foods containing saturated fats and trans fats. Instead, make a habit of consuming more foods that contain healthy fats – which are nothing but unsaturated fats!
Here is the list of foods containing saturated and trans fats that are to be avoided.
Foods Containing Saturated Fats
Saturated fats are most commonly found in dairy products, some of the plant-based oils and most of the packaged foods!
Let us get to know what are the worst foods for high cholesterol!
Just 100 grams of cheese contains 21 grams of saturated fat. If you are already diagnosed with a high cholesterol, staying away from cheese is the first and foremost step you must take!
If you absolutely love cheese and cannot really stay away from it, no worries! You can prefer mozzarella cheese as it contains only 2.9 grams of saturated fat for one ounce.
However, you have to be careful about the quantity and not consume more than 28 grams of cheese per day!
Note that you do not exceed the levels of saturated fat. Consuming 18 grams of saturated fat per day is a healthy way to maintain cholesterol.
Cheese is highly nutritious with all the essential nutrients like calcium, zinc, phosphorous, vitamin A, vitamin B12, vitamin B2 and proteins which is why you do not have to avoid it completely!
Grating cheese on to your favourite dishes may help but try to avoid cheese as much as possible to keep your heart safe.
2. Avoid Whole Milk
Is it the whole milk that you have been consuming regularly? You can check with the sellers to know the variety because there are different types of milk being sold which have a different impact on your cholesterol levels.
There is 1% fat milk, 2 % fat milk, whole milk, lactose-free milk, and skimmed milk.
Whole milk is the dairy product you should strictly avoid taking because it is full of fat. This does not mean that you should completely stay away from drinking milk because you will miss some important nutrients like calcium and vitamin D which are very much essential for a strong bone health.
You can prefer skimmed milk since it is prepared by removing all the fat content which provides your body with the required nutrients without increasing the levels of cholesterol.
You can also prefer soy milk since it contains very low levels of saturated fat which does not really raise your LDL.
3. Processed Meat Increases Your Cholesterol
When you have no time to cook, you rely more on the processed and junk foods which causes your cholesterol levels to build up. So before having a bite of that unreliable processed food, know that you are simply putting your heart at a great risk.
Processed meat is the kind of meat that is fermented, smoked or salted for making it taste better! This increases the shelf life of the meat and also increases the levels of bad cholesterol.
Processed meat is the primary foods to avoid if you have high cholesterol.
If the taste of such processed meat is what has been compelling you to consume meat frequently, you are consciously putting your heart at a risk.
Studies have proved that consuming processed meat like bacon, salami, smoked meat, canned meat, sausages, hot dogs, cold cuts, corned beef, beef jerky, and hams can put you at a very high risk of various coronary heart diseases because of their high saturated fat content.
4. Say No To Ice Creams
Ice creams alone are not responsible for raising your cholesterol levels but when you are diagnosed with high cholesterol level, you must consciously choose to stay away from the consumption of ice creams.
A frequent consumption of ice creams not only increases the bad cholesterol (LDL) but also adds in a lot of many calories which make you put on extra weight and make you obese.
You will be surprised to know that the consumption of just one cup of chocolate ice cream gives you around 16 grams of saturated fat whereas the daily consumption of saturated fat is 18 grams per day.
If it is your sweet cravings that have been tempting you to savour ice creams, you can make a habit of relishing fruits all through the day so that you get supplied with all the rich nutrients while you simultaneously get your sweet tooth gratified.
However, consuming plenty of other food sources like vegetables, fresh fruits, nuts and seeds, beans and whole grains does not let the ice creams to raise your cholesterol levels.
5. Limit The Consumption Of Egg Yolks
If eggs have been a part of your daily routine, it’s time for you to switch on to other types of food sources that give you proteins.
By consuming one egg yolk, your body accumulates 1.6 grams of saturated fat. However, you do not have to completely avoid eggs in order to maintain healthy cholesterol levels but a daily consumption of eggs is what increases the saturated fat which in turn increases the LDL levels.
In order to gain the required nutrients from eggs and also keep a check on your cholesterol, you can start consuming eggs 2-3 times a week so that you do not gather excess saturated fats.
Foods Containing Trans Fat
In most of the processed foods, trans fat makes up to 60% of the total fat content. Though trans fats belong to an unsaturated type, they increase the bad cholesterol which further increases the risk of heart diseases.
Foods that contain the trans fats can be easily identified through the nutritional labels present on the products.
Sometimes, trans fats are artificially added to various foods in order to increase the shelf life of the foods. Here is a list of foods that may contain trans fats.
6. Microwave Popcorn
Not all popcorns can raise your cholesterol levels. It is the salted, buttered and the ones that are loaded with oils that are hazardous to health.
Microwave popcorn also contains 7 grams of saturated fat for every 100 grams along with the undesirable trans fatty acids.
It is a myth to believe that microwave popcorn can itself increase the bad cholesterol levels. It is only when the snack is flavoured with other heart hazardous ingredients like butter, oils and salts, it becomes an unhealthy snack.
Also, microwave popcorn is said to be carcinogenic not because of the popcorn itself but because of the bags that are used to store the popcorns.
These bags are said to contain certain chemicals called PFCs (Perfluorinated compounds). These chemicals become carcinogenic (cancer-causing) when they are broken down into perfluorooctanoic acid.
To avoid the microwave popcorns from increasing your cholesterol and from preventing cancers, you can put the popcorn kernels in a pot without adding butter or extra oil and consume them unsalted once they pop into your favourite snack.
7. Baked Foods
Baked foods come stand in the top position when it comes to the foods to avoid if you have high cholesterol.
We are very much aware of this alert but we still cannot stay away from consuming baked foods like crackers, doughnuts, cookies, muffins, pizzas, bagels, brownies, tarts and pies.
The process of preparing baked foods involves the process of hydrogenation on which vegetable oil is solidified which produces trans fats that raise bad cholesterol levels.
Apart from raising bad cholesterol, baked foods are also known to contain an unhealthy artificial sweetener called HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) which adds in a lot of unwanted calories.
Moreover, baked foods are said to be containing high levels of saturated fats along with the unhealthy trans fats which are quick to raise your cholesterol levels.
8. Deep Fried Fast Foods
The amount of trans fat is too high in the foods that are deep fried. This is because of the vegetable oil that is hydrogenated which produces a lot of trans fats.
These also include pizzas, burgers, mac and cheese, doughnuts, burritos, hot dogs and French fries. An occasional consumption of fried foods is also considered harmful because of its high trans-fat content.
If you have already been diagnosed with high cholesterol, remember that fried foods are your worst enemies.
Simple Tips That Make A Big Difference
Knowing the list of foods to avoid with high cholesterol is the first step that one has to take for protecting their heart. In addition to this, making some lifestyle changes along with the consumption of heart-healthy foods goes hand in hand for maintaining a perfect heart health
- Cut down on alcohol and smoking because these can reduce the amounts of good cholesterol in your body, but we need good cholesterol in order to get rid of bad cholesterol.
- Indulge in any form of physical activity, exercising does not necessarily mean you should hit a gym. You can also go for a regular morning walk for at least 30 minutes or enjoy any physical art form like gardening, dancing or trekking to maintain a good heart health.
- Keep a check on your diet. Include abundant quantities of fresh fruits, leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, protein-rich sources like beans and legumes as well as whole grains.
- Stay away from full-fat dairy products especially whole milk and eggs.
Finally, keep the list of foods to avoid with high cholesterol within your reach! Say no to anything that you feel is hazardous to your heart health!
Sai Sudha is a certified health blogger, who has an experience of above 2 years with an authorized certificate in the area of Introduction to food and health from Stanford University.
She has a special interest in life sciences, human psychology and fitness which drove her to make blogging turn passion to profession. Being an introvert, writer, empath and a nature lover, she loves Yoga and believes it to be one of the best pathways to self discovery! She loves travelling, exploring new places and wants to spread help through words. She finds happiness in little things which makes her live life to the fullest.