High Cholesterol Foods to Avoid
Most doctors offices gladly hand out lists of high cholesterol foods to avoid but the glossy pamphlets may not tell the whole story.The conventional wisdom of westernized medicine is to avoid everything made from animal products, especially eggs and whole meats. Today's physician knows not all food containing cholesterol is made equally … some cholesterol foods are more dangerous to your health than are others.
Cholesterol is essential to all animals and present in every cell membrane in the human body. Animals create cholesterol in their liver so all animal products such as eggs and milk naturally contains cholesterol.
Health professionals used to suggest patients avoid those products, choosing margarine over butter for example, but now medical researchers are reconsidering those blanket statements and refining their understanding of how the food you eat causes heart disease.
The Importance of Your Cholesterol Profile
You need cholesterol for cell wall development, to metabolize some vitamins and to create hormones. Your liver manufactures the cholesterol you need, and you consume cholesterol in the food you eat. Cholesterol must travel around through the bloodstream. The only problem is that cholesterol is an oily, waxy substance that does not dissolve into the watery plasma of blood very well. The body overcomes this by packaging cholesterol, a lipid, onto special proteins to create lipoproteins.
Low-density lipoproteins, or LDLs, move cholesterol from your gut to the awaiting cells. Doctors consider LDL "bad" because it introduces cholesterol into the bloodstream, where it accumulates and damages arterial walls.
Physicians speak highly of HDL, or high-density lipoprotein, because of the way it scrapes excess cholesterol from arterial walls and transports it back to the liver where it is processed and recycled or eliminated from the body. This is why the more HDL you have to LDL, the less risk you have of atherosclerosis or heart disease.
High Cholesterol Foods to Avoid
Some foods contain high amounts of cholesterol; other foods cause cholesterol to form and accumulate even if it doesn't contain cholesterol. Because of this fact, it can be hard to know which high cholesterol foods to cut back or eliminate, even for medical scientists.
Most modern-day health professionals agree that some cholesterol-ridden foods are just terrible for you. To reduce your chances for heart problems including atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, keep a list of high cholesterol foods to avoid, especially:
- Anything deep fried
- Most drive-thru or fast food items
- Highly processed foods, especially processed meats
- Pre-packaged foods with lots of additives
Foods like doughnuts, french fries, onion rings and most items on the appetizer menu at restaurants are chock-full of cholesterol you can do without.
Is All Dietary Cholesterol Bad?
Conventional wisdom is to avoid foods that contain cholesterol, such as eggs, lobster, shrimp, etc., to regulate blood cholesterol levels. Science has never supported this as natural food sources containing cholesterol do not seem to raise blood cholesterol levels.
Some people consuming natural food containing cholesterol experience a modest increase in total cholesterol, but their important ratios stay the same or even improve.
Another approach is to avoid foods that cause high blood cholesterol to form and accumulate. These foods may not contain cholesterol but act in a way that increases cholesterol levels. Foods high in carbohydrates and sugar are the main culprits, even though their labels may claim they are a low-cholesterol food or that they contain no cholesterol.
Foods in this category include…
- High Glycemic foods
- Simple carbohydrates
- Trans fats
- Highly processed grains
Some foods high in cholesterol do not cause lipids to build up inside artery walls while other foods that cause high cholesterol do a significant amount of damage to the cardiovascular system, raising the risk for heart disease , high blood pressure and heart attack. To make sure you're making the right choices, why not signup for our daily emails tips below. The tips are free and very heart-friendly.