6 of the Worst Foods for High Cholesterol

High cholesterol refers to a condition where cholesterol levels in one’s body have risen to a point where it creates a medical risk. An overabundance of cholesterol can cause abnormal deposits upon blood vessels. This will eventually restrict blood flow or trigger heart attacks through clotting. It usually refers to LDL rather than HDL cholesterol. HDL helps remove LDL from the body. High cholesterol is due to genetics, environment, lifestyle and often the following foods:

1. Fatty meats like lamb beef and pork
Meat is usually seen as a necessity in any given meal. People tend to associate it with satiety, protein and a balanced diet. However, modern understanding of nutrition suggests that meat should be eaten more sparingly. This shouldn’t be taken to mean that one needs to give up meat. But in general the average person would benefit from reducing meat intake. This can turn into an even healthier choice by adding some vegetable based proteins. Beans, some nuts and tofu consumption have all been associated with decreased LDL and increased HDL. The LDL vs. HDL cholesterol discussion is complex. One can consider HDL as “good cholesterol” and LDL as “bad cholesterol”. HDL essentially works to remove the clot inducing LDL from the body

2. Lard and shortening
Lard and shortening tends to be quite heavy in LDL. What’s more, it can turn up in places where most people would never expect to find it. One should always check the back of packaged food in order to see what ingredients have been used in its preparation. Even something as seemingly innocent as canned beans may well have added lard

3. Whole or reduced fat dairy products
One doesn’t have to give up cheese or other dairy products when watching out for high cholesterol. However, it’s important to remember that the majority of dairy does tend to increase cholesterol levels. There are exceptions to the role though. Skim milk has a dramatically lower impact on cholesterol levels. And the same is true of some cheeses. These cheeses include low-fat cottage cheese, non-fat cheddar and non-fat swiss. Goat cheese also tends to be lower cholesterol than cheese derived from cows

4. Deep fried or fast foods
Fast food consumption easily ranks among the top risk factors of high cholesterol. Studies have shown that even one meal of fast food per week is enough to massively increase risk of high blood pressure. What’s worse, it also heavily predisposed people to additional risk factors involved with high cholesterol. People who eat fast food on a regular basis, even just once a week, have much higher chances of obesity. On top of that their overall levels of proteins and micronutrients was significantly lower. This comes together to make fast food intake more than just a risk factor for high cholesterol. It also raises the chances of the worst case scenarios involved with high cholesterol levels. And in particular it raises someone’s chances of a stroke or heart attack

5. Processed pastries
Processed pastries tend to be similar to fast food in their overall impact on the body. Most will significantly raise cholesterol levels. However, they also have a negative impact on weight and overall health. As such it’s best to ensure that pastries are either avoided or only eaten in moderation

6. Saturated vegetable oils
Saturated vegetable oils are an often invisible negative influence on cholesterol. Packaged food often contains it without the purchaser ever being the wiser about it. If cooking a meal oneself it’s much easier to avoid saturated vegetable oil. One can try reducing the amount of oil called for in recipes. Mixing in yogurt, soy sauce or even something like siracha can also decrease the overall amount of saturated vegetable oil in a recipe


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