8 Foods You Should Avoid If You Have High Cholesterol
We all love food, right? Though the main purpose of eating is to satisfy hunger, people eat for different reasons.
Some are addicted to food while other eat out of emotions. Such habits are what lead to high cholesterol levels in the body.
Most teenagers and young adults do not understand the implications of overeating until they get older and start experiencing health complications.
A lot of cholesterol in the body can cause heart diseases and obesity. Cholesterol is the fat-like substance which is located in the body cells.
There is good and bad cholesterol.
The body makes good cholesterol to function well. Eating unhealthy foods when your body has high cholesterol levels causes health problems.
Every adult should check their cholesterol levels by taking blood tests every few years. The foods that you eat can regulate or aggravate the cholesterol levels in your body.
Here is a list of eight foods that you should avoid when you have high levels of cholesterol in your body.
Though the liver is a good source of iron, it is not healthy for people with high cholesterol levels. It can increase your supply of blood in the body but also raise your cholesterol levels.
The organ stores the fat-like substance known as cholesterol.
According to experts, beef and pork liver have less cholesterol compared to veal and chicken liver.
The meat increases the fat levels in your bloodstream until some of them get eliminated from the body. Apart from high cholesterol levels, liver also contains some saturated fat which is not healthy.
For instance, the chicken liver has 5 grams of saturated fat. If you must take liver, don’t do it regularly. You should also ensure that you don’t consume other foods that have high cholesterol when taking liver.
Initially, people thought that margarine is a healthy substitute for butter. They assumed this because the substance comes from unsaturated oils while butter contained saturated fat.
A researched proved the assumption incorrect because margarine also contains high cholesterol levels. Some forms are worse than consuming peanut butter.
If you already have high levels of the waxy substance, stay away from margarine.
The substance also has Trans fats that come from hydrogenated oils. Margarine is not however created equally since some are more solid than others.
Researchers say that stick margarine has higher amounts of Trans fats compared to tub margarine.
Trans fats raise your cholesterol levels in the body and expose your heart to diseases. These fats also reduce the level of high-density lipoproteins in your system. If you can’t get liquid margarine, take plain bread instead of buying solid margarine.
3. Fried Chicken
Resisting fried chicken may be hard, but if you already have high cholesterol levels, you don’t have a choice.
This golden deep fried form of chicken comes with high cholesterol levels which are unhealthy for your heart.
The meal contains high cholesterol levels than burgers. Though chicken in itself is a low-fat meal, the preparation of deep-fried chicken is what makes it unhealthy.
The skin of the chicken contains a lot of saturated fat and getting rid of it can lower the fat content. Skinless chicken meat is a healthy option in place of deep fried one. White meat cuts and breast meat are also known to have less cholesterol than the skin.
Reduce the portions of chicken you consume and choose the parts with less saturated fats and cholesterol.
4. Ice Cream
Do you comfort yourself when you’re sad with some ice cream? Almost everyone does.
This habit can add to your cholesterol levels in the body and expose you to heart conditions.
A scoop of frozen ice cream is said to have more cholesterol content that doughnuts.
It is a dairy product that contains a lot of saturated fats and high sugar content.
Instead of ice cream consider taking a dessert such as sorbet which is still ice based but does not come with the dairy content.
This alternative is safer for your cholesterol levels and does not expose your body to health complications.
You can still get sorbet in a similar flavor and texture as your favorite ice cream. The best flavors are the fruity flavors which are both delicious and healthy.
5. Egg Yolks
Chicken eggs may be healthy sources of proteins, but they come with high cholesterol.
Avoid taking egg yolks if your levels are already high. The way you prepare eggs can also make a difference.
Boil your eggs or scramble them with reduced-fat milk. The eggs whites are healthier than the yolks since they do not contain any cholesterol.
Be mindful of the foods you accompany your eggs with. Things such as bacon and sodium are also unhealthy.
Take whole grain instead of consuming eggs with white bread. You can also consume egg whites with vegetables such as mushroom or spinach.
6. Red Meat
Though most people consume red meat, this is a major cause of the increase in cholesterol levels in the body. Red meat have higher levels of saturated fat and cholesterol which expose people to cardiovascular diseases as compared to white meat.
The meat also causes inflammation in your body. If you eat red meat daily, start limiting this intake and substituting it with healthy foods.
Instead of red meat, get your protein content from vegetable proteins such as beans.
You can also take fish like salmon to get healthy fatty acids which are beneficial for you body. These also have unsaturated fats which minimize the risk of heart failure and coronary heart problems.
7. French Fries
Fries are the favorite dish to most Americans. It’s eaten as a side dish for most meals.
French fries may be sweet, but they come with high cholesterol since they contain hydrogenated vegetable oils. Restaurants rely on such oils because it makes fries remain fresh for long without getting stale.
The oils also convert to a solid-state making it convenient when it comes to transportation. Hydrogenated oils do not break down even when they go through repeated heating.
These are some of the reasons why people use them to fry fast foods like fries. The problem is that fast foods that are made from hydrogenated oils have not only high cholesterol but also unhealthy Trans fats.
Avoid eating French fries when your cholesterol levels are high to prevent worsening the condition.
8. Cupcakes And Muffins
Snacking is part of our diet, but you should not snack on cupcakes or muffins too often.
These have high sugar content and cholesterol which can add to the already existing levels.
Most of them are also baked using hydrogenated vegetable oils which expose you to Trans fats.
Though not all cakes are baked the same, most of them contain unhealthy ingredients.
Ensure that you choose a snack that does not contain cholesterol or saturated fat.
Get a low-fat cupcake made from whole wheat flour and fiber.
The fiber in them can prevent you from getting hungry fast and snacking excessively. Your snack should be baked with plant oils in place of hydrogenated oils.
The above list is not exhuastive but common foods that we run into frequently. If you are struggling to keep your cholesterol levels down than it would be best to avoid such foods completely and consider taking a health supplement that can lower your unhealthy cholesterol levels Otherwise, feel free to consume in moderation.
Distinguishing bad cholesterol from the good form can help you choose the right foods as you avoid unhealthy ones. Good cholesterol helps the body function well while bad cholesterol causes the accumulation of plaque in the body narrowing the blood vessels and restricting the normal flow of blood.
Ensure that you avoid the foods we have discussed above as you replace them with healthy ones to regulate high cholesterol levels in your body.