Our fast-paced modern life has thrown up many challenges and we tend to compromise on many things. We always seem to be in a rush to catch up on something or the other and in the process the first thing we ignore is what we eat and how we eat. That, more than anything else, is responsible for high cholesterol levels.
Diet modification, coupled with exercise, is the best solution for lowering cholesterol levels but the sad part is that most of us tend to spend money on statin drugs rather than look for natural solutions. Simply avoiding foods that increase cholesterol can go a long way in reducing cholesterol levels in your body.
If you want to control cholesterol in your body, be sure to avoid the following foods.
1. Butter. Who doesn’t love butter? In fact fats add to the taste of food. But at the same time, it is not healthy for you if you have high cholesterol. It is actually one of the richest sources of cholesterol. One tablespoon of butter can contain almost 30mg of cholesterol.
2. Shortening. Shortening is a semisolid fat used for preparing baked foods. It is 100% fat as compared to 80% in butter. What is more important to note is that it is made from hydrogenated oils, which are loaded with trans-fat. Avoid eating pie crusts and fried foods.
3. Breakfast meats. Bacon, sausages (link and patty), ham and other meats that are normally eaten at breakfast are high in cholesterol, fats, calories and phosphates. You have simply to check the nutrition facts of these to realize the amount of cholesterol these can add to any meal.
4. Ice Cream. One cup of ice cream, any flavor, any brand, contains almost as much cholesterol as you should be eating in a day. Sugar content and preservatives in ice cream are equally harmful.
5. Fast food burgers. Every ingredient of burgers, especially super burgers, adds more cholesterol than is healthy for you. Bread, meat with preservatives, butter, cheese and bacon are all high cholesterol foods.
6. Soft drinks and Sodas. The average 12oz can contains 10 teaspoons of sugar. Too much sugar is not only bad for your cholesterol levels but also bad for overall health. Don’t think that you are consuming a healthy drink when you choose a diet variety of soft drink. These contain artificial sweeteners, which have been linked to cancer.
7. Doughnuts. What is a doughnut made of? And what do you drink to wash it down? Refined bread, refined sugar and refined oil. All these increase cholesterol levels, lead to obesity and increase the risk of heart disease.
8. Pizza. The only thing good in a slice of cheese pizza is the tomato sauce, the rest of it is all high in cholesterol.
9. French fries and potato chips. These are made from the unhealthiest fats, hydrogenated vegetable oils. Rich in trans-fats, these increase LDL or bad cholesterol and reduce HDL or good cholesterol.
10. Eggs. Eggs are actually good for your health but not if you have high cholesterol. Avoid egg yolk and eat only the white of an egg if you have been diagnosed with high cholesterol levels.
Lowering cholesterol is all about making healthy choices. Remember that home cooked food using natural and minimally processed ingredients is best for lowering cholesterol in your body.
(We have two types of cholesterol tests that allow you to monitor your cholesterol levels as you try to avoid these types of foods. Check out our Home Cholesterol Test page to learn more!)
- Anne Hamilton