What Is High Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance thats found in all cells of the body. Our bodies need cholesterol to make hormones that protect the body, vitamin D and bile salts that are necessary for the breakdown of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Plus, the brain and nervous system depend on cholesterol for the creation of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine.
Our bodies make the cholesterol that we need, but we get cholesterol from our food too. If you have too much cholesterol, it starts to build up in your arteries and may lead to atherosclerosis, or the hardening of the arteries.
Eventually, high cholesterol levels may cause heart and blood flow problems, leading to dangerous blood clots and inflammation that can cause heart attacks and strokes. High cholesterol levels alone do not determine if you are at risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
Other factors include your blood pressure, whether or not you smoke, whether or not you have diabetes, and your age, sex and race.
According to the American Heart Association, many people dont know their cholesterols are too high because there are usually no symptoms. High cholesterol can cause a dangerous accumulation of cholesterol and other deposits on the walls of your arteries, reducing blood flow through the arteries. This can lead to coronary heart disease and complications, such as chest pain , heart attack and stroke.
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Maintaining Healthy Cholesterol Levels
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults have their blood cholesterol levels checked every four to six years. More frequent testing may be recommended if you have a family history of heart disease, are overweight or have type 2 diabetes.
Healthy blood cholesterol levels according to the CDC are:
Total cholesterol of less than 200 mg/dL
LDL cholesterol of less than 100 mg/dL
HDL cholesterol levels greater than 40
There are many lifestyle changes you can make to prevent high cholesterol. Obesity raises LDL cholesterol levels in the body. A doctor can help you determine a healthy weight and develop a diet and fitness plan to reach your goals. Smoking and drinking too much alcohol can also increase the risk of developing high cholesterol.
Men tend to have higher cholesterol levels than women and a woman’s chances for developing high cholesterol increases when she is over the age of 55. Other risk factors for high cholesterol, according to the CDC include:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Familial hypercholesterolemia, a rare medical condition
- Family history of high cholesterol
Foods That May Increase Your Cholesterol
Tape this list to your refrigerator and kick any of these offenders out of your pantry!
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Myth: Eating Foods With A Lot Of Cholesterol Will Not Make My Cholesterol Levels Go Up
Fact: It can be complicated. We know that foods with a lot of cholesterol usually also have a lot of saturated fat. Saturated fats can make your cholesterol numbers higher, so its best to choose foods that are lower in saturated fats. Foods made from animals, including red meat, butter, and cheese, have a lot of saturated fats.
Instead, aim to eat foods with plenty of fiber, such as oatmeal and beans, and healthy unsaturated fats, such as avocados, olive oil, and nuts. Learn more about healthy diets and nutrition at CDCs nutrition, physical activity, and obesity website.
Talk with your health care provider about ways to manage your cholesterol. Learn more about medicines to lower cholesterol.
Sardines: 1306 Mg 44% Dv
One can of sardines has 44 percent of the DV for cholesterol. But you should still include these little fish in your diet because they’re loaded with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, providing 103 percent of the DV.
Omega-3s are a type of polyunsaturated fat that can lower heart attack risk, blood pressure and triglyceride levels, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Try them in these protein-packed sardines recipes that promise to be free of any unpleasant “fishy” taste.
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High Risk Groups For High Blood Cholesterol
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. 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. But at the same time, it is not healthy for you if you have high cholesterol. One tablespoon of butter can contain almost 30mg of cholesterol.
Microwave popcorn made with butter, oil and high salt content is completely unhealthy. These extras are responsible for the increased cholesterol in your snack. Air frying the popcorn without oil, butter and salt is a good option to lower the cholesterol levels. To make your bland popcorn tasty you can even consider adding a few drops of olive oil and sprinkling of parmesan cheese over it. Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that the body produces optimum amounts of on its own. Limiting foods that contain trans and unsaturated fats can be an effective way of managing ones cholesterol levels.
To be on the safe side, I think that it is better for us to eat these foods in moderation. Most of these are really good and it is hard to totally take these off our diet. Cod liver oil contains more Cholesterol than 95% of the foods.
Top 10 Foods Highest In Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a steroid lipid present in the blood, necessary for the proper functioning of cell membranes and the production of vitamin D and certain hormones.
Cholesterol deficiency is rare, as our bodies manufacture the cholesterol we need. High cholesterol levels on the other hand, increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and other health problems.
When we consume foods rich in cholesterol, our bodies tend to reduce the production of cholesterol in response, in an attempt to keep levels stable. A diet high in total fat, saturated fat, processed trans fats and low in fibre, along with being overweight, lack of exercise, smoking and high alcohol consumption is believed to lead to high cholesterol. There are also certain genes that cause people to have raised cholesterol.
Consumption of cholesterol in foods is therefore not the main factor, but there may be certain groups of people who are sensitive to dietary cholesterol.
High cholesterol foods include fast foods, liver, fatty meats, canned shrimp, desserts, eggs, whipped cream, bacon, cheese, and butter. The current daily value for cholesterol is 300mg.
Below is a list of high cholesterol foods. To lower your cholesterol, read the article on cholesterol lowering foods.
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Why You Should Avoid Cholesterol
Cholesterol circulates throughout the bloodstream, and too much of it can have negative effects on your body, especially your heart. High levels of “bad” cholesterol can raise your risk of heart disease or stroke.
When you have too much LDL cholesterol in your system, it can form plaque, which is a buildup on the walls of the blood vessels. This buildup narrows the blood vessels, which blocks the healthy flow of blood in the body and can potentially cause a heart attack or other problems. For this reason, experts recommend consuming less than 300 milligrams of dietary cholesterol per day.
Cholesterol also travels within the central nervous system and is important for normal brain functioning. Too much of it, however, may have negative consequences for learning and memory. Reducing cholesterol through the use of drugs called statins may improve memory, but more research is needed in this regard.
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Eating too many foods that are high in cholesterol, saturated fats, and trans fats may increase your risk of developing high cholesterol. Other lifestyle factors can also contribute to high cholesterol. A meta analysis published inCirculationconcluded that consumption of processed meats, but not red meats, is associated withhigher risk of heart disease. The Purdue study showed that adults who are overweight or moderately obese could benefit from a Mediterranean-style diet with or without red meat as long as the red meats were lean and unprocessed. Lamb can be a great addition to your diet if you cook it properly and stick to a lean cut.
How To Lower Your High Ldl Cholesterol
Excess fat can almost double the amount of cholesterol you produce. There are many other factors that can affect cholesterol production drastically. Finally, before we get started, remember that not all cholesterol is bad, so total cholesterol isnt the best measure to worry about. Instead, look at the LDL cholesterol on your test results, which is the bad one . You could try an inferior natural product, full of GMOs or statins, only to find that it did not work. Worse yet, you wasted your chance to lower cholesterol naturally.
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Wholemeal Products Support A Healthy Level Of Cholesterol
All whole grain products are an important part of a healthy diet something that has been known for centuries. Wholemeal flakes, mueslis, pasta and dark rice varieties are particularly rich in fibre and therefore very healthy. Already at breakfast you can make sure to do something good for yourself. The best way to start the day is with a healthy wholemeal muesli or wholemeal bread.
What Is The Worst Food For High Cholesterol According To Experts
If you struggle with high cholesterol or simply want to avoid developing the condition, there’s one food you may want to give upor at the very least, reduce your consumption ofnow: red meat.
“Red meat is particularly bad for blood cholesterol,” says Jinan Banna, PhD, RD, a registered dietitian and associate professor of nutrition at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. “It contains both saturated fat and cholesterol, which, when consumed together in excess, can cause blood cholesterol to increase. This also increases the risk of cardiovascular disease,” says Banna.
Eating foods high in saturated fats causes your body to produce LDL or “bad” cholesterol in your blood, resulting in high cholesterol. Saturated fats occur naturally in many foodseven plant-based foodsbut they’re primarily found in meat products.
By cutting back on fatty meats, you may experience more favorable cholesterol numbers. In fact, according to a 2020 review of research published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, reducing saturated fat in your diet can not only help lower cholesterol but can also help reduce the risk of combined cardiovascular events by 17%.
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What Is The Difference Between Good And Bad Cholesterol
Cholesterol is classified as good or bad and its important to understand the distinction when choosing your diet. Cholesterol travels through the body in two types of lipoproteins:
The United States Department of Agriculture recommends that we limit saturated fats to less than 10% of our daily calorie consumption. This means restricting our intake of bad cholesterol.
How To Tell If Foods Are Low Or High Cholesterol
Many foods you buy are labeled with nutrition facts, making it easy to detect and limit high-cholesterol foods. But what about foods you purchase that don’t have a label, like deli meat or prepared foods?
Understanding general principles about high-cholesterol foods can help you determine which non-labeled foods might be high in cholesterol.
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Salmon: 1037 Mg 35% Dv
Salmon is one of the healthiest proteins despite being a high-cholesterol food. A cooked 6-ounce fillet of sockeye salmon has 35 percent of the DV for cholesterol and 108 percent DV for omega-3. This fatty fish is also an excellent source of protein, vitamin D, selenium and B vitamins.
Foods That Lower Cholesterol
No doubt about it, nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory vegetables are one of the most high-antioxidant foods available. Loaded with phytochemicals that fight free radical damage, they slow down the aging process and keep arteries flexible and healthy. Many dark leafy greens, like spinach and kale, contain very few calories but offer protection against heart attacks by helping artery walls stay clear of cholesterol buildup.
While nearly every type is a good choice, vegetables including benefit-rich beets, onions, cabbage, broccoli and artichokes are especially useful for upping your fiber intake and protecting heart health.
Nuts of all kinds make a good source of healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. They also provide a decent amount of fiber. Certain nuts, including almonds, specifically supply antioxidant flavonoids, plant-based compounds that improve artery health and reduce inflammation.
Studies show nuts can lower bad LDL levels, especially in individuals with high cholesterol and diabetes. They can help prevent damage from forming within artery walls and protect against dangerous cholesterol plaque buildup, in addition to fighting weight gain and obesity.
3. Chia Seeds and Flaxseeds
4. Olive Oil
7. Gluten-Free Whole Grains/Ancient Grains
8. Green Tea
9. Beans and Legumes
12. Sweet Potatoes
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Easy Guide To Understanding Food Labels When You Have High Cholesterol
Diet is an area that significantly impact your blood cholesterol. A nutritionally balanced diet while keeping minimal intake of saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol is recommended for all. Generally, people eat enough of these and for some, even too much.
Consuming a diet that has too much saturated fat and trans fat increase your risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, high cholesterol and some cancers.
Food labels tell you what is in the food and drinks you are consuming. Every packaged and processed product should have a food label to help you determine its nutrition content. The food labels can help you sieve through misleading claims, shop faster and make better food choices to lower your cholesterol levels. Today, some restaurants even have nutrition information available on their menus.
How The Fat You Eat Affects Cholesterol Levels
The relationship between the fat we eat and our health, particularly our cardiovascular health, has been hotly debated for many years.
Heres what you need to know:
Not all fats are created equally.
The kinds of fat you eat matter more than the amount.
There are different types of fats in our diet:
Polyunsaturated fats: essential and important nutrients
Monounsaturated fats: can come from plant or animal products and are generally considered healthy
Saturated fats: less healthy than mono- and polyunsaturated fats
Trans fats: unhealthy fats
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Choose Products With Higher Dietary Fibre And Wholegrains
Whether you are trying to lose weight or lower your cholesterol, dietary fibre is your best friend. Eating a diet high in dietary fibre can help to regulate your digestive system, lower your cholesterol, stabilise blood sugar levels, and reduce your calorie intake.
Including wholegrains such as brown rice, wholemeal bread and oats, as well as nuts, seeds, mushrooms, beans in canned or dried forms, and fruits and vegetables in frozen or canned forms in your diet will help to lower blood cholesterol levels.
These foods are good sources of soluble fibre which bind to cholesterol, reduce its absorption and excreted in the stools. These foods are also rich in phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals working together in our body to reduce our risk of heart disease and other chronic diseases.
Many products, such as the one above, claim to be wholegrain or wholemeal but the first ingredient in the list is often wheat flour, which is actually refined flour. Check that WHOLE grains, WHOLE wheat, wholemeal are the first or second ingredient listed for the real wholegrain deal. Unbleached flour, enriched high protein wheat flour are all refined flours.
That said, note that Healthier Choice Symbol with higher in wholegrains claim may be awarded to this product as it does contain 20% more wholegrain than the regular version of a similar product. This is why checking the ingredient list is so important dont be tricked by product name or claims!
Coconut Oil And Cream
Coconut oil is considered healthy, but they contain saturated fats in the form of lauric acid. These saturated fats can add to your total cholesterol levels in the body. It is best to limit the consumption of coconut oil in your diet daily. It is safe to consume 24gms of saturated fat daily. You may even avoid using processed oils in your diet like canola and corn oil as they contain high transfats.
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What Causes High Cholesterol
Some causes of high blood cholesterol include:
- Low intake of foods containing healthy fats healthy fats tend to increase the good cholesterol.
- High intake of foods containing unhealthy fats such as fatty meats, full-fat dairy products, butter, coconut oil, palm oil and most deep-fried takeaway foods and commercially baked products . Foods high in trans-fats include most commercially baked products and deep-fried takeaway foods.
- Low intake of foods containing fibre foods that are high in dietary fibre, particularly soluble fibre, can reduce the amount of LDL cholesterol in your blood. Include fibre-containing foods in your diet by choosing vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, nuts and seeds every day.
- Cholesterol in food this has only a small effect on LDL cholesterol -saturated fats and trans-fats in food have a much greater effect.
- You can also eat up to 7 eggs a week as part of a healthy, balanced diet low in saturated and trans-fats, without increasing your risk of heart disease.
Some people will have high cholesterol even if they follow a healthy, balanced diet low in saturated fats and trans-fats. These people may need to take cholesterol-lowering medicine as prescribed by their doctor.