Printable High Cholesterol Food List
Cholesterol is perhaps one of the most misconstrued materials.
For years now, people have kept away from healthy yet cholesterol-rich foods such as eggs because of the fear that foods can increase the risk of heart disease.
However, new research reveals that taking healthy foods high in cholesterol won’t deter health for most people. In addition, a couple of cholesterol-rich foods incorporate vital nutrients that are not in most people’s diets.
This discussion reveals why people shouldn’t necessarily fear foods with cholesterol, some of the high-cholesterol foods you can take, and those you should avoid.
Is Cholesterol Bad For You?
Cholesterol is a waxy material present in the body and animal products such as dairy, eggs, and meat.
It has various vital roles, such as bile production, hormones, and vitamin D necessary for breaking down fats.
Cholesterol is a vital part of all cells in your body, offering cell membranes elasticity and vigor.
The human liver generates all the cholesterol the body needs to function well, but cholesterol can also be introduced into the body by taking animal products.
Since cholesterol doesn’t augur well with body liquids such as blood, it’s ferried by particles known as lipoproteins, including HDL (high-density) and LDL (low-density).
LDL is commonly known as ‘Bad Cholesterol’ because it’s linked with the plaque buildup in the arteries, while HDL is ‘Good Cholesterol’ and helps remove surplus cholesterol from the body.
When extra cholesterol is taken inside the human body, the body compensates by decreasing the amount of cholesterol it naturally brings in.
On the contrary, when dietary cholesterol consumption is low, the body boosts cholesterol production to ensure an adequate level of this important substance.
Note only about 25% of the cholesterol in your body comes from dietary sources; the rest comes from the liver.
Which are the Various Types of Fat?
Generally, people should aspire to have a diet that rallies high HDL cholesterol levels and low LDL cholesterol levels.
However, fat intake impacts this balance because fatty acids attach to liver cells and standardize the production of cholesterol.
You should take note of not only the general amount of fat in your diet but also where the fat is coming from. That said, let’s look at the types of fat found in foods today.
- Saturated fats: Saturated fats are primarily found in dairy products and meat. They direct the liver to generate more LDL (low-density) cholesterol).
- Trans fats: Trans fats are solid vegetable oils. Manufacturers usually employ an artificial procedure known as hydrogenation to generate Transfats. Some of the foods that contain Transfats include baked goods, fried foods, and packaged foods.
- Unsaturated fats: Unsaturated fats are more common in beans, fish, nuts, plants, seeds, and vegetable oils. Specific unsaturated fats can help increase the level at which the liver reabsorbs and breaks down LDL (low-density) cholesterol.
Which High Cholesterol Foods Are Healthy?
One ounce of cheese comprises 27mg of cholesterol or about 9% of RDI. Although cheese is commonly linked to increased cholesterol, a couple of studies have revealed that full-fat cheese doesn’t negatively affect cholesterol levels.
Another 12-week study amongst 162 people revealed that high consumption of 3 ounces (80 grams) of full-fat cheese didn’t result in LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol compared to a similar amount of low-fat cheese or a similar number of calories from bread and jam.
Various kinds of cheese have varying dietary content, but most cheeses offer a good amount of calcium, B vitamins, protein, and vitamin A.
Since cheese has high-calorie levels, you should stick to the suggested serving size of 1-2 ounces at a go to keep your portions in check.
Eggs are among the most nutritious foods you can consume. They also happen to have high amounts of cholesterol, with a single egg having 211mg of cholesterol or an RDI of 70%.
People often stay away from eggs due to fear that their cholesterol levels may skyrocket.
However, studies show that eggs don’t negatively affect cholesterol levels and that consuming whole eggs can cause increases in heart-friendly HDL.
Apart from being rich in cholesterol, eggs are a brilliant source of massively absorbable protein and are loaded with valuable nutrients such as Vitamin A and B as well as selenium
Studies show that consuming 1-3 eggs per day is okay for healthy individuals.
Full-fat yogurt is filled with cholesterol as well as other nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, protein, vitamin B12, and zinc.
A single serving (240 grams) of full-fat yogurt comprises 31.9 mg of cholesterol or an RDI of 11%.
Fresh studies reveal that increased intake of full-fat fermented dairy products is linked to reductions in blood pressure and LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol as well as lowering the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
What’s more, fermented dairy products such as yogurt are vital to intestinal wellbeing by positively affecting gut-friendly bacteria.
Cholesterol-rich lean meats such as liver, lung, heart, and kidney are very nutritious. For instance, a chicken heart is a brilliant source of B vitamins, iron, and zinc, as well as coQ10, an antioxidant.
A chicken heart is also high in cholesterol, with a 56g serving having about 105mg of cholesterol.
One investigation in over 9000 adults found that those with modest consumption of unprocessed meat, including lean meats, had a lesser risk of contracting heart disease compared to those with the least intake.
And while you might not find lean meats tempting, they are better sources of meat compared to the red or processed kinds.
However, all meat should be eaten in moderation, but the advantages of lean meats outweigh their cholesterol content.
So if you have high cholesterol levels consider lean meats to be your daily or weekly intake of protein.
Pasture-fed steak is filled with protein as well as vital reserves and vitamins such as B vitamins, iron, selenium, and zinc.
It has less cholesterol compared to feedlot beef and comprises considerably more omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties.
A 112 gram serving of pasture-fed steak comprises about 62mg of cholesterol.
Although processed meat is linked to heart disease, a couple of massive studies have found no correlation between consuming red meat and the risk of heart disease.
Sardines are not only filled with vital nutrients, but they are also a convenient and tasty source of protein that can be included in a wide variety of meals.
A single 92 gram serving of these small fish comprises 131mg of cholesterol or an RDI of 44%.
However, it’s also packed with an RDI of 63% for vitamin D, 137% for B vitamins, and 35% for calcium.
In addition, sardines are a brilliant source of copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, vitamin E, and zinc, among other nutrients.
Shellfish such as clams, crab, and shrimp are ideal sources of B vitamins, iron, protein, and selenium. They also have high levels of cholesterol. For instance, an 85gram serving of shrimp comprises about 166mg of cholesterol.
What’s more, shellfish have bioactive elements such as amino acid taurine and carotenoids antioxidants that help limit heart disease and LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol.
Which High Cholesterol Foods Should You Avoid?
Although certain cholesterol-rich foods are very nutritious and good for your wellbeing, others can be detrimental.
Let’s look at some of the high-cholesterol foods you should avoid.
Cakes, cookies, ice cream, and other sweets are all unhealthy foods that tend to have high levels of cholesterol, calories, sugars, and unhealthy fats.
Regularly consuming these foods can negatively affect overall wellbeing and cause you to gain weight over time.
Research has been connected added sugars to cancers, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
In addition, these foods are regularly devoid of the nutrients your body requires to flourish. These include healthy fats, minerals, proteins, and vitamins.
Instead, you can make your desserts at home, picking recipes that don’t need massive amounts of butter.
This also enables you to adjust recipes and reduce the amount of sugar utilized to two or three quarters the suggested amount.
You can also indulge in baked fruit as a dessert or swap applesauce for butter or eggs when baking.
Consuming fast foods is a big risk factor for many chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
Those who consume fast foods regularly tend to have more belly fat, cholesterol as well as higher levels of inflammation and blood sugar regulation.
Consuming less processed food and cooking more at home leads to lower body fat and weight as well as a decrease in heart disease contributing factors such as LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol.
Not all fast foods are the same. Here are some amazing low sodium fast foods you can safely consume.
Fried foods such as cheese sticks or deep-fried meats have high cholesterol levels and should be avoided on every occasion possible.
This is because they are filled with calories and have trans fats which increase the threat of heart disease as well as being harmful to your wellbeing in so many other ways.
In addition, consuming massive amounts of fried foods has been linked to an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
Butter, cheese, full-fat yogurt, and whole milk have high levels of saturated fats. What’s more, cheese tends to have high amounts of sodium which is a problem for most people.
So reduce cheese intake to about 3 ounces a week and prioritize part-skim cheese such as mozzarella or Swiss when preparing meals.
What’s more, drink non-fat (skim) milk for your daily calcium intake. You can look for low-fat or non-fat plain yogurt variants and use avocado or olive oil instead of butter to prepare meals.
Processed meats such as bacon, ham, sausages, and hot dogs have high levels of cholesterol and should be taken in moderation.
High intake of processed meats has been allied to increased rates of cancers such as colon cancer as well as heart disease.
A massive study including over 600,000 participants found that each extra 50-gram serving of processed meats a day was linked with a 40% higher risk of contracting heart disease.
Mince beef, pork chops, ribs, roast beef, and steaks tend to have massive amounts of cholesterol and saturated fat.
If you have to take red meat, pick 90% lean beef or lean beef cuts such as filet, flank, sirloin, or tenderloin steak and concentrate on low-fat sources of animal protein such as baked, ground, lean, or skinless chicken or turkey
How Can You Lower Your Cholesterol in a Healthy Way?
Having massive levels of LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol can cause a buildup of cholesterol in your blood vessels, increasing your risk of contracting heart disease.
Certain dietary or lifestyle changes can decrease LDL levels and offer a more favorable HDL to LDL ratio. Let’s look at a couple of healthy ways to decrease cholesterol levels.
- Consume more fiber: Research that taking in more fiber, particularly soluble fiber in beans, fruits, and oats, can help decrease the levels of LDL cholesterol.
- Boost physical activity: Being more physically active is a brilliant way to decrease cholesterol levels. Aerobic exercise seems to be the best way to decrease LDL.
- Cut weight: Cutting excess weight is one of the best ways to decrease cholesterol levels. It can increase HDL while decreasing LDL, which is ideal for your wellbeing.
- Limit unhealthy habits: Limiting unhealthy habits such as smoking can considerably cut LDL levels. Smoking increases LDL cholesterol levels as well as the risk of heart disease.
- Boost dietary omega-3s: Taking more omega-3 rich foods such as salmon or omega-3 supplements such as fish oil tablets has been proven to raise HDL and drop LDL.
- Take more fruits and vegetables: Studies show that people who eat more fruits and vegetables have less LDL cholesterol levels and are less likely to contract heart disease.
There are numerous other ways to reduce high levels of cholesterol. But using some of the methods illustrated above can result in a considerable decrease in cholesterol and lead to other health benefits such as weight loss.
All cholesterol-rich foods aren’t the same; some, like eggs and lean meats, are nutritious, while others aren’t good for your health.
Although it’s okay for most people to take the healthy cholesterol-rich foods illustrated above, you should try and limit the intake of unhealthy and high-cholesterol foods such as desserts, fried foods, and processed meats.
Printable High Cholesterol Food List (PDF)