High Cholesterol Foods to Avoid

One of the cruellest ironies of life is the fact that the things that taste the best are often the worst for our health. Many of these delicious dishes are considered high cholesterol foods to avoid, even thought they are filled with flavor. There have probably been times when you have wanted to throw all of the new-fangled eating rules out the window and just consume what you please. Unfortunately, the doctors who study these matters know what they’re talking about and see the risks of high cholesterol from a more comprehensive perspective. It is important to keep an eye on your cholesterol levels because it can have such an important impact on your overall health. It’s a lot better to prevent complications by taking care of your diet than to try to solve a problem that has already developed. With a little bit of restraint, it is entirely possible to get a handle on cholesterol problems through diet.

Check Your Cholesterol Levels

It's always best to visit your doctor for an assessment, but there are ways to check on your own as well. Or maybe you already know your cholesterol level and want to be able to maintain it. The CardioChek Cholesterol Meter offers an affordable way to keep track of the impact of high cholesterol foods on your diet. These come in handy for making sure your cholesterol plan is taking effect. There's no point in eating foods that lower cholesterol but having no clue as to what your levels are. This will help you to stay well away from foods high in cholesterol while controlling your diet.

High cholesterol foods to avoid

Saturated Fats and Oils – the best example of this is butter. Butter goes with almost everything and tastes great, which is what makes it so hard to eliminate from a diet completely. And sometimes butter is a component of our favourite recipes without us even knowing about it. If you go out to eat at restaurants where health is not a major concern, you can be certain that butter is a main component of some of your favourite dishes. But it should be consumed at moderate levels or better yet, replaced with margarine or a flavour based substitute. A good rule of thumb when it comes to saturated fats and oils is that if it becomes solid in the refrigerator then it falls under the category of high cholesterol foods to avoid.

Give your Heart a Break from Fat

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Fatty Meats – one of the things that makes a great steak tastes so good is the marbling of the meat itself. Unfortunately, this basically means a higher fat content. When it comes to fatty meats such as roasts and ribs that come from beef or pork, the cholesterol levels can get quite high especially when you consider that common side dishes that go along with these foods are also quite fatty. Processed meats contain a high amount of cholesterol as well, and you should never forget that you don’t know exactly what goes into them. A lot of times you are getting parts that are nothing but pure fat mixed with other elements that are as far from lean meat as you can get. Basically there are many products that come from animals that go in the category of foods high in cholesterol so moderation is essential.

Digital Aids to Lower Cholesterol Levels

Sometimes it helps to keep things as organized as possible. Eating can be a numbers game and it helps to keep track of what you consume. The LifeSign DietMate is a computer that will guide you along with lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.

The Eatsmart Precision Pro is an affordable digital scale that will help you measure exact amounts of high cholesterol foods you consume.

These two devices are widely available online and offer a valuable resource to keep track of foods high in cholesterol.

Foods that Lower Cholesterol

Here is a quick list of some delicious foods that Lower Cholesterol

  • avocados
  • olive oil
  • salmon and other fish
  • walnuts and almonds
  • garlic
  • oatmeal
  • blueberries
  • grapes
  • broccoli
  • soy products

Delicious, but unhealthy.
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Delicious, but unhealthy.

More High Cholesterol Foods to Avoid

Organ Meats – some of them can be an acquired taste, and others might be a regular part of some people’s diet. Whatever the case, organ meats can be very bad for cholesterol levels and should never be consumed on a regular basis.

Chicken Skin – chicken is considered a good lean meat that is perfect for healthy diets. But there is one thing that always tempts people, and that is the delicious skin that comes with it. The key to enjoying chicken is moderation so that means allowing yourself to eat the skin on special occasions, but staying away from it the majority of the time.

Egg Yolks – you can eat egg whites to your heart’s content, but egg yolks are a different matter. Egg yolks are infamous for being one of the high cholesterol foods to avoid that many people don’t realize are bad for them. If you are in the habit of eating egg yolks for breakfast, you might be at risk of consuming other high cholesterol foods as well. Let’s face it, people who eat eggs will tend to partner them with ham, sausages, or bacon – all high cholesterol food to avoid.

Deep Fried Foods – this includes chicken, shrimp, fries, or any number of foods that are deep fried these days. Did you know that there are deep fried Chocolate Bars? How about cheese? They even have deep fried butter! It’s true that deep frying can be applied to almost any food, but it is also one sure-fire way to raise your cholesterol as well. And of course fast food that may or may not be deep fried should never be a consistent part of your diet. These types of dishes should be at the top of your list of high cholesterol foods to avoid.

Fatty Milk Products – This can include ice cream, cheese, or milk itself if it’s not skim or 1%. Anything “creamed” is also bad for you and this includes a wide variety of soups with fatty bases that are not as healthy as they might initially appear.

Cakes, Pastries, Donuts - you probably already know that these are high cholesterol foods to avoid, but it bears repeating anyways. The desserts and snacks that we love to munch on can also contain a lot of needless calories that will cause you to pack on the pounds as well. Also the snacks we love such as chips and cookies contain the worse kinds of trans fats that are extremely poor for your health.

Eating healthy does wonders.
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Eating healthy does wonders.

Dealing with Cholesterol

A lot of people hear the word “cholesterol” and assume it's something that they need to get rid of. But in fact, your body naturally produces cholesterol and it will be around no matter what you do. Problems arise when your cholesterol levels become elevated, and more often than not it's due to constant consumption of fatty and high cholesterol foods.

Why is cholesterol a problem?

When your cholesterol exceeds normal levels then that's when you can encounter problems related to clogged arteries and potentially more serious complications with heart attacks or strokes. Basically, if you have fatty cholesterol in your system it makes it harder for blood to pump throughout your body. When things get clogged it puts an increased strain on your heart and generally every part of your body.

Where it gets tricky

You want to avoid eating high cholesterol foods but you can't deprive your body of proper nutrition at the same time. This is why it's never as simple as cutting out all of the red meat from your diet because there are other benefits to eating beef as well. It takes a careful balance where you look at what you lose and gain by eliminating certain foods and what you choose to replace them with. A lot of people who opt for “fat-free” foods actually end up depriving their bodies of essential nutrients and components. Your body will naturally responded by increasing your cravings for these things, and it will cause you to seek them in one form or another. Rather than trying to battle your body’s attempts to correct itself (which is rather impossible) it's far better to come up with a comprehensive diet where you aren't lacking in any food group or essential nutrient.

Exercising and staying active helps.
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Exercising and staying active helps.

Other Things can help with High Cholesterol Levels

Looking at your diet and avoiding food high in cholesterol is a good first step but it's important to be as active as possible in discovering ways to lower cholesterol that will fit with your own personality and lifestyle. You might have to accept that things need to change on a permanent basis and there will be some things you have to give up. But in the overall scheme of things, not being able to eat as many burgers and fries as you want isn't really a huge sacrifice. Remember that improving your cholesterol levels also goes hand-in-hand with making your body healthier as well. That means you will have the benefits of more energy throughout the day, the capability to stay more active, and probably a trimmer body that you can be proud of.

Other things that can help in the fight against cholesterol include drinking plenty of water, exercising as much as possible in a variety of different ways (so that you don’t get bored), reducing stress levels and getting plenty of sleep, and keeping in regular contact with your doctor so you can be on top of the situation. In certain cases your doctor may be able to prescribe medications or supplements that can also help to lower your overall cholesterol levels.

When it comes to controlling your cholesterol levels, it never hurts to talk to your doctor to come up with smart food choices. There are plenty of foods that lower cholesterol that you can add to your diet. You have to be careful not to simply go for “fat-free” items because they might not provide much benefit. And you should never put yourself at risk by eliminating a certain food group completely. Remember that cholesterol is a normal thing that exists in your body – it’s only when it reaches a high level that it becomes a problem. Best of all, there are plenty of foods that lower cholesterol that are also delicious.

 Last updated on April 13, 2011

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