Are Eggs Meat And Dairy Bad For High Cholesterol
True or false? Eggs, dairy, and meat are bad for you
If youve been diagnosed with high cholesterol, should you completely eliminate eggs, meat, and dairy from your diet? Not necessarily. Reducing the amount of unhealthy fats you consume is vital to lowering your high cholesterol.
But you dont have to completely rid your diet of eggs, meat, and dairy products to make it more cholesterol-friendly. You can incorporate these foods into your diet in a healthy way. The key to enjoying them all comes down to:
- how you prepare these foods
- how often you eat them
- how often you substitute healthier options
Swapping For Skim Milk To Lower Cholesterol
Research backs up the idea that opting for skim milk over whole milk is a good idea for your overall health, including your cholesterol level. A 2010 article published in “Food and Nutrition Research” reports that replacing high fat dairy products, including milk, with lower-fat dairy foods can lower cholesterol levels. The key here is replacement, however. Simply drinking skim milk alone isn’t guaranteed to lower your cholesterol level, but reducing your saturated fat intake by switching from whole milk is more likely to help. The calcium in milk might also be useful in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, according to Stuart Patton, author of “Milk: Its Remarkable Contribution to Human Health and Well-Being.” Skim milk has slightly more calcium per serving than whole milk.
Whats The Take Home Message
See your GP for a heart health check. If you do not have heart disease and prefer full-fat milk, cheese and yoghurt then choose them, or a mix of full and reduced-fat versions.
If you have heart disease or are trying to manage your weight then choose mostly reduced-fat versions.
Focus on making healthy choices across all food groups. If you need personalised advice, ask your GP to refer you to an accredited practising dietitian.
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Are Yogurt And Cholesterol Connected
A January 2013 study published in the journal Nutrition Research evaluated the yogurt consumption, diet and metabolic health of 6,526 adults. Data showed that men and women who ate yogurt had high potassium intakes, lower systolic blood pressure, lower insulin resistance, lower levels of circulating triglycerides and higher levels of HDL.
However, that doesn’t mean that yogurt is cholesterol-friendly, but simply that a diet including yogurt is associated with better metabolic health. The study found that people who ate yogurt generally had diets that were lower in refined carbohydrates and processed meat, instead eating more fresh produce, whole grains and fish. Basically, they ate lower amounts of high-cholesterol foods and foods that raise LDL.
If you have high cholesterol, Harvard Health Publishing recommends that you limit your intake of saturated fats and trans fats. Saturated fats can increase your levels of LDL cholesterol, and trans fats both increase your LDL levels and decrease your levels of HDL cholesterol. Instead, focus on healthy fats. Harvard Health Publishing also says that low-fat yogurt is a good choice if you have high cholesterol.
Cholesterol Content Of Foods
If you have risk factors for heart disease, you should not consume more than 200 milligrams of cholesterol a day.
If you do not have risk factors for heart disease, you should limit your cholesterol intake to no more than 300 milligrams a day.
Use the following tables to check the cholesterol and fat content of the foods you eat. This will help you keep track of your daily cholesterol intake.
Note: Cholesterol is only found in animal products. Fruits, vegetables, grains and all other plant foods do not have any cholesterol at all.
Cheddar Cheese1 oz30
UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.
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Soy Milk: No Cholesterol Low In Saturated Fat
With 80 calories and only 2 g of fat per 1-cup serving, plain, light soy milk is a great alternative for people who are watching their cholesterol or cannot tolerate the lactose found in dairy milk. Because the source of soy milk is a plant, it has no cholesterol and only negligible amounts of saturated fat. Soy milk also contains 7 g of protein per serving, which is great for a heart-healthy diet. Twenty-five g per day of soy protein, like that found in soy milk and tofu, may also reduce your risk of heart disease, according to the National Institutes of Health. This may be due not just to the protein, but to soy’s high levels of polyunsaturated fats, minerals, vitamins, and fiber, as well as to its low levels of saturated fat. Still, Krivitsky says, its important to read the label to know what you’re getting: Make sure theres no added sugar and that its fortified with calcium.
Cholesterol In Milk Good Or Bad
The cholesterol in milk has been a point of hot debate. After all, milk is chock full of nutrients that the body needs, including those necessary to build healthy bones. In fact, sixteen that are vital to many physiological processes, some that are hard to find in products other than milk. Vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 are all found in milk, and so are nutrients like niacin, riboflavin and folate as Dairygoodness.ca points out. But, that pesky cholesterol content continues to get milk into trouble, and those that do not have lactose intolerance are left to wonder whether or not their dairy drink may be contributing to elevated cholesterol numbers.
It is important to understand what precisely high cholesterol is before sending milk straight to the foodstuff gallows. High cholesterol refers to elevated amounts of lipids in the blood. It is caused by many factors including genetics, family history, and lifestyle factors like smoking and dietary intake. But the cholesterol in milk, just as it is in other foods, may have a different impact on cholesterol levels from person to person, as indicated by The Mayo Clinic which points out variances in each individual in terms of how much cholesterol consumed in food ultimately impacts lipid levels. This means that consumed cholesterol may have a dramatic effect on cholesterol levels in one person, yet be much less significant in another.
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Saturated Fat And Heart Disease
Milk and other dairy products are the top sources of artery-clogging saturated fat in the American diet. Milk products also contain cholesterol. Diets high in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol increase the risk of heart disease, which remains Americas top killer. Cheese is especially dangerous. Typical cheeses are 70 percent fat.
What Is High Cholesterol
When people talk about high cholesterol, they’re usually referring to the levels of LDL cholesterol in your blood. You can find out your blood cholesterol levels through a lipid panel blood test. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians :
- A “normal” lipid panel total cholesterol is 180 to 200 milligrams per deciliter or less.
- A “borderline” lipid panel total cholesterol is between 201 and 240 mg/dL.
- A “high” lipid panel total cholesterol is greater than 240 mg/dL.
In terms of specific cholesterol readings, the AAFP says that you should aim for HDL levels of 40 to 60 mg/dL and LDL levels of 100 mg/dL or less. “Between 100 and 129 mg/dL is near normal, 130 to 159 mg/dL is borderline high, and above 190 mg/dL is considered high,” the site says.
A lipid test will also evaluate the level of triglycerides in your blood. Triglycerides are the most common type of fat in your body, and they store any excess energy you get from your diet. According to the AHA, a high triglyceride level combined with a high level of LDL cholesterol or a low level of HDL cholesterol is associated with plaque buildup in your artery walls, thus increasing your risk of a stroke or heart attack.
Because triglycerides are usually highest in your blood right after eating, you should fast for 12 hours before a blood test for your triglyceride levels. According to the Cleveland Clinic, the triglyceride level guidelines for healthy, fasting adults are:
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What Are The Risks Of Consuming Cholesterol In Dairy
Even though regular-fat milk naturally contains cholesterol, studies have shown that consuming dairy foods does not raise bad cholesterol levels in the blood. In fact, the Australian Dietary Guidelines recognise the importance of including milk, cheese and yoghurt in the diet, particularly for reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke and hypertension.
Skim Milk Vs Whole Milk
Skim milk became popular in the U.S. in the 1980s, when people began paying more attention to the amount of fat in their diets. Many thought that the more fat you ate, the more fat your body would store, making you gain weight.
Nonfat milk has become a popular choice because it is lower in fat and calories than whole milk. Whole milk has a bad reputation because it has more saturated fat and may raise cholesterol.
There are two kinds of cholesterol: LDL, the bad cholesterol, and HDL, the good cholesterol. When you drink whole milk, your LDL goes up more than if you drank skim milk. But the saturated fats in whole milk and dairy products also raise your levels of HDL.
Experts recommend getting fewer than 20 grams of saturated fats each day, which is why many people avoid whole milk and opt for skim. Also, the fats in whole milk arent the healthy fats that are in products like:
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Almond Milk: No Cholesterol No Saturated Fat
Almonds are heart-healthy, says cardiologist Dr. Day, who recommends almond milk to his heart patients. Unsweetened almond milk contains between 30 and 40 calories per 1-cup serving and has no saturated fat. And because it’s a plant-based milk, it also contains no cholesterol. Fortified versions contain the same amount of vitamin D as skim cows milk, and some brands even contain up to 50 percent more calcium. Almond milk also contains polyunsaturated fatty acids, which may lower LDL cholesterol, reduce inflammation, and improve cognition , according to research out of the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. Unfortunately, almond milk is also low in protein compared with cow’s milk and other milk alternatives, making it a less ideal choice.
To maintain a healthy heart, Day says, be sure to drink unsweetened almond milk. The biggest issue with alternative milks is that most of them are sweetened, he says. Added sugar in any form can be dangerous to your heart.
Why The Confusion About Fat
For decades, dietary recommendations have been based on nutrients in food, not on foods themselves. That includes dairy foods, which are an important source of some nutrients that many Americans dont get enough of, such as calcium and vitamin D. Because we need these other nutrients, the recommendation in the U.S. Dietary Guidelines has been to consume low-fat dairy.
However, the studies cited above suggest that any negative effects of saturated fats on cardiovascular health may be neutralized when they are eaten as part of the complex food matrix formed by cheese and other dairy foods.
Whole milk dairy foods are more than vehicles for fat. Like other foods, they are a complex matrix of vitamins, minerals, proteins and carbohydrates as well as unsaturated fats. Part of the controversy and inconclusiveness about the role of saturated fats in health and disease could be because the other qualities of the food theyre packaged in matters.
Interestingly, European-based studies on dairy fat, which tends to be consumed there in the form of quality cheese and yogurt, are more likely to find positive effects on health than American studies, where people eat more full fat dairy combined with sugar and refined carbohydrates, as with ice cream, pizza and fast food.
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The Basics Of Cow Milk
The USDA recommends about three cups of milk a day for adults and children age 9 and older to help meet daily dietary needs for nutrients such as bone-strengthening calcium and vitamin D. But what type of cow’s milk is best for you? It depends on what you want and need in your diet.
Nearly every store carries whole, reduced-fat and skim milk, but some might not know what those terms really mean. When milk is processed, different levels of fat can be taken out .
- Whole milk is cows milk that hasnt had its fat content stripped. The milk retains its fat and is slightly thick.
- Reduced-fat milk retains 2 percent of fat.
- Skim milk, contains no fat at all. This processing lowers calories and slightly alters the milk’s taste.
Reduced-fat and skim milk lose nutritional benefits when processed. Most producers then fortify their milk with solids to restore vitamins and thickness, although fortification is controversial. In addition, the practice of giving cows added growth hormones to aid in milk production is also contentious.
Some milk producers have started offering rBST-free milk that comes from grass-fed, free-range cows to address these concerns. According to the Cleveland Clinic, not only do grass-fed cows make milk with significantly more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, but because they are less stressed than conventionally raised cows, they also tend to produce more milk and richer milk.
Does Coffee Increase Cholesterol
While coffee does not contain cholesterol, it can affect cholesterol levels. The diterpenes in coffee suppress the bodys production of substances involved in cholesterol breakdown, which causes cholesterol to increase. Specifically, coffee diterpenes may cause an increase in total cholesterol and LDL levels.
Rice Milk: No Cholesterol Very Low In Protein
Cup for cup, rice milk is a plant-based milk that contains as much calcium as cow’s milk. A 1-cup serving of rice milk has 113 calories . Rice milk has no saturated fat, and no cholesterol but it’s naturally higher in carbohydrates. Rice milk is also very low in protein, so if you do drink rice milk, be sure that you’re getting enough protein from other sources in your diet. Protein is related to a heart-healthy diet, Butuza says. If you dont get enough protein, you may be taking in too many carbs, and too much of that can turn into higher bad cholesterol levels.
Eating Well + Exercise
For best results with a healthy lifestyle, new research has found that plunging right in with both healthy eating and exercising is the way to go.3
The Stanford University School of Medicine study involved 200 middle-aged Americans, all sedentary and with poor eating habits. Some were told to launch new food and fitness habits at the same time. Others began dieting but waited several months before beginning to exercise. A third group started exercising but didnt change eating habits till several months later.
All the groups received telephone coaching and were followed for one year. The winning group was the one making food and exercise changes together. The people in this group were most likely to meet U.S. guidelines for exercise and healthy eating , and to keep calories from saturated fat at less than 10% of their total intake of calories.
For best results with a healthy lifestyle, new research has found that plunging right in with both healthy eating and exercising is the way to go.3
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Milk Fat And Heart Health
The American Heart Association recommends you limit your intake of saturated fat, no more than 11 to 13 grams on a 2000-calorie diet, because it’s linked to higher cholesterol levels and heart disease. One cup of whole milk has 4.5 grams of saturated fat, and 1 cup of 2-percent milk has 3 grams of saturated fat. This is one of the primary reasons most health care professionals recommend low-fat milk over whole.
However, a 2016 prospective study published in “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” found that intake of milk fat, whether from whole milk, low-fat milk or cheese, did not increase risk of heart disease. However, it did not decrease risk either. But the study did find that replacing animal and dairy fat with vegetable fat, nuts instead of cheese, decreased risk heart disease by 10 percent or more.
Soy Milk Is Popular With Vegans
As you may know, soy milk is made from soybeans. Naturally, lactose- and cholesterol-free, soy milk is a good source of protein, potassium, vitamins A, D, and B12, and calcium. Its also low in saturated fat and comparable in calories to skim milk.
Note: Some clinical research suggests that higher intakes of soy-based foods may cause fertility problems.
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Which Type Of Milk Is Healthiest
Whole, non-fat, reduced, skimmed, almond, soy, rice the grocery store milk aisle keeps expanding. We’ve come far from the days of simply choosing plain or chocolate. The many options can seem overwhelming when all you want is something to pour over your morning cereal or put in your coffee. So, whats the skinny on milk?
How Does This Compare With Other Advice
The 2013 National Health and Medical Research Councils Dietary Guidelines for Australians recommends a variety of healthy foods from the key healthy food groups to achieve a range of measures of good health and well-being, not just heart health.
Based on evidence until 2009, the guidelines generally recommend people aged over two years mostly consume reduced-fat versions of milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or their alternatives, recognising most Australians are overweight or obese.
This advice still holds for people with heart disease. However, the new Heart Foundation advice for healthy people means less emphasis is now on using reduced-fat versions, in light of more recent evidence.
The Australian Dietary Guidelines have a further recommendation to limit eating and drinking foods containing saturated fat. The guidelines recommend replacing high-fat foods which contain mainly saturated fats such as butter and cream, with foods which contain mainly polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats such as oils, spreads, avocado, nut butters and nut pastes.
This advice is still consistent with the Heart Foundation recommendations.
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