Cholesterol is a type of fat that is naturally found in the blood. It plays an important role in your overall health because it helps the body produce hormones and substances that digest food. However, too much cholesterol can increase the risk of heart disease. There are also good (HDL or high-density lipoprotein) cholesterols and bad (LDL or low-density lipoprotein) cholesterols.
There are no symptoms of high cholesterol. The only way to know if you have high cholesterol is to get a blood test. Medication is the standard treatment for high cholesterol. However, diet can help you naturally lower cholesterol. There are a number of foods to avoid for high cholesterol:
1. Fried foods
Cheese sticks, French fries and deep-fried meats are examples of some of the foods that you should avoid. Not only are these foods high in cholesterol, but they also have trans fat. Trans fats can also raise your LDL low-density lipoprotein or bad cholesterol and lower your HDL high-density lipoprotein or good cholesterol. Furthermore, fried foods have been linked to diabetes, obesity and heart disease.
2. Margarine and butter
In the past, margarine was considered a healthier alternative to butter. However, margarine and butter both contain high amounts of fat and LDL cholesterol. The worst type of margarine to eat is hard stick margarine. Yet it’s important to each butter and margarine in moderation.
3. Fatty red meat
Many people who have high cholesterol completely eliminate meat from their diet. If you love meat, then you do not have to stop eating it. However, it is best for you to avoid fatty cuts of red meat. Red meats are high in cholesterol and saturated fat. Fatty cuts of red meat not only raise the risk of high cholesterol and heart disease, but they can also increase the risk of colon cancer. That is why it is best for you to choose lean meat over fatty cuts of meat (i.e., beef, pork and lamb). Rabbit, chicken, turkey, and venison are some of the healthiest meats that you can eat.
4. Sugary foods
Most people know that fried and fatty foods can raise cholesterol. However, cakes, cookies, pastries and other sweets can also cause your cholesterol level to go up. They can cause you to gain weight. Studies have shown that people who are overweight are more likely to have high cholesterol. Additionally, sugary foods are devoid of the vitamins and minerals that you need in order to stay healthy. If you love sugary foods, then you should eat them sparingly.
5. Full-fat dairy
While moderate dairy products are good for you (i.e., yogurt and milk). They are high in calcium, B vitamins and vitamin D. They can also support healthy gut and bone health. However, it is best for you to limit your intake of full-fat dairy products (i.e., sour cream, cheese, heavy cream, full fat milk, ice cream, etc.). Some dairy products are high in saturated fat. Saturated fat can raise your cholesterol.