When we think of foods to avoid with high cholesterol, a number of images come to mind – fast food, eggs, candy, butter, pork, and anything fried. But there are a few misconceptions about which foods to avoid with high cholesterol. Contrary to popular belief, some of these “bad foods” are actually foods to lower cholesterol.
Foods to avoid with high cholesterol
Shellfish – While it has been well-documented that a lot of seafood is high in Omega-3 fats which are clinically proven to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, shellfish (such as shrimp and lobster) are loaded with triglycerides and other fatty elements that will make your cholesterol level skyrocket. While it may seem like a luxury dish, or the high-ticket item on the menu, it’s best to avoid the shrimp cocktail or lobster tail and have a nice piece of grilled salmon instead.
Hamburgers, cheeseburgers, and any fast food – It should go without saying that stopping off at your fast food restaurant of choice to grab a quick bite to eat is not only lacking in the nutrition your body needs, but its overly processed, fried, and fatty nature only raise your cholesterol levels. And don’t think you’re gaming the system by getting a salad at one of these places. Many salads offered by the leading chains have a fat count equivalent to one of their greasy burgers. If you need a quick dose of nutrition and are short on time, try getting a smoothie. Your body will thank you.
Pizza – Heralded by college students and public school cafeterias across the country as an easy to make food, pizza is often rationalized as a nutritious food. It’s got stuff from the major food groups, right? You’ve got dairy (cheese), protein (meat), grains (the crust), and vegetables (sauce, onions, peppers, etc.). So how is it bad for you? First of all, everything you are eating on a pizza is heavily processed, and has virtually no nutritional value. Secondly, pizza is loaded with grease and fats that will clog your arteries and raise your blood pressure faster than you can get an extra large with pepperoni delivered to your door. If you want a food to avoid with high cholesterol, this is it.
Snacks – When we say snacks, we mean the bag of chips, cheese powdered puffs, candy, and artificially-flavored foods that you can pick up at your local convenience store or vending machine. These foods are loaded with what are commonly known as trans-fats. Trans-fats are produced by adding hydrogen to vegetable oil in order to keep it from spoiling. Trans-fats act as preservatives and in addition to offering zero nutritional value (while still making you fat), they also boost your cholesterol levels and cause arterial blockage that is very hard to combat. Do yourself a favor. The next time you want a snack, grab a piece of fruit or some dark chocolate (which has anti-oxidants to help lower cholesterol).
While we have listed a few of the more popular foods to avoid with high cholesterol, you should also be wary of things like eggs, liver, chicken (yes, the “healthy” meat of choice is also leaded with agents that raise your cholesterol levels, if not prepared properly), and organ meets (sausage, liver, etc. – those food products made by the very organs that store and process bad cholesterol) should be avoided because of their high cholesterol levels.
But remember, lowering your cholesterol isn’t about eating twigs and living a life without flavor. Salmon, lean beef (grilled, of course), dark leafy vegetables, chocolate, garlic, and many other tasty foods can be substituted to make even happier meals, so you can replace your super-sized deep-fried heart attack special with something that will help your body lower its cholesterol. Once you take a look at the list of foods that lower cholesterol, and knowing what foods high in cholesterol will do to your body, the choice is simple and quite delicious.