High Cholesterol Foods: What To Avoid And What To Limit

High Cholesterol Foods: What To Avoid And What To Limit

High Cholesterol Foods: What To Avoid And What To Limit

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We have to emphasize that cholesterol is never a bad thing to include in one''s diet for many reasons. For one thing, the human body synthesizes cholesterol on its own primarily from the liver, which accounts for the lack of recommended daily allowance for this sterol. For another thing, even high cholesterol foods serve many functions in the maintenance of good health although emphasis must be made on limitation or moderation of their consumption. Keep in mind that cholesterol is essential in the maintenance of cell membrane integrity, in the synthesis of the liver''s bile acids and in the synthesis of lipids.


For example, eggs are important sources of proteins, vitamins and minerals that healthy individuals eat as part of a well-balanced diet. But since eggs are also rich in cholesterol, nutrition experts recommend limiting the food''s consumption to just one whole egg a day for each individual. This way, the benefits of eggs can be enjoyed while avoiding their high cholesterol count.


The trick then is to know which of the known high cholesterol foods must be completely avoided or significantly limited in planning for a heart-healthy diet. You will be hard-pressed to determine which foods fall into what category considering the abundance of conflicting information over traditional and online media. You may be tempted to just go with the flow but this is not a good move either simply because lapses in judgment today will manifest negative consequences in the days to come.


Fortunately, you can make it easier on yourself. This article differentiates the high-cholesterol content food items that must be completely avoided and significantly limited in an understandable manner. Since we know that certain foods are ultra-delicious and, hence, may be too irresistible to exclude in the diet, appropriate substitutions are also recommended. Think of it as eating your cake without the guilt trip.


Eggs, Meat and Poultry
Let''s start the list of high cholesterol foods with the most common - eggs, meat and poultry. Unless you are a vegetarian and the like, we simply cannot avoid these food items from showing up on the dinner table anywhere from breakfast to the midnight snack. But this does not necessarily mean that you can just shovel in these food items into your waiting mouth and forget about the consequences.


The best thing that you can do is to assess your daily consumption of eggs, meat and poultry, decide which category each food falls into and then make the necessary changes to adopt the healthy eating plan. This is true for all of the high cholesterol foods on this list.


Eggs must be limited to just one whole egg daily, as previously mentioned. You may use egg whites or egg substitutes if the recipes call for more than just one whole egg. You can also get creative by inventing new eggless recipes although browsing the online sites for such recipes is just as acceptable.


As for meat and poultry, the categories are more or less defined. Limit the consumption of high-fat cuts of beef and pork particularly the top loin, tenderloin, brisket, porterhouse, T-bone, flank and rib-eye. Even processed and luncheon meats including ham, hot dogs and bologna must make lesser appearances on the breakfast spread, no thanks to their high sodium and saturated fat contents.


In contrast, you must completely avoid the consumption of high cholesterol foods like organ meats including the liver, intestines and sweetbreads. Ground beef, sausages and canned meats as well as duck and goose meat are on the no-no list, too. Yes, even frying in duck or goose fat will send in the heart attack and stroke.


Instead, we recommend leaner meat and poultry including turkey, chicken (no skin please), veal and lamb as well as loin or round cuts of pork and beef. Our meat-loving brethren can still have their barbecues but the healthier ones, thankfully.


Dairy Products
High cholesterol foods also include liquid and semi-liquid items. Whole-fat dairy products like butter, whole milk and 2% fat dairy products including yogurt and cheese are best limited in daily diet. Switching to low-fat varieties is the best alternative although you can go one step healthier by choosing non-fat dairy products. We suggest trying skim milk on your breakfast cereal and see how the combination works for your palate.


Cooking Oils
The healthier alternatives of lean meat and poultry will be rendered for naught if and when these are fried in high-cholesterol cooking oils. We recommend using olive oil because of its high contents of monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidative substances, both of which promote a healthy heart by lowering LDL levels and increasing HDL levels in the blood.


Read the labels, too, since high cholesterol foods hide behind deceptive marketing words. If the list of ingredients lists down hydrogenated and partially-hydrogenated oils, then it is best to avoid these food products. Yes, even the beloved French fries are best avoided for your own sake.


Sweet Treats
Individuals with a sweet tooth will protest but if a healthier diet is to be achieved, then the sweet treats especially those made with saturated fats and partially hydrogenated oils must say a farewell to the table. Cakes, cookies, muffins, crackers, pastries, pies, and doughnuts should say farewell although a little indulgence now and then is fine.


Don''t worry since these high cholesterol foods can still be enjoyed at home. We suggest baking using healthier alternatives like egg substitutes and fresh fruits when baking these sweet treats. You must look at the positive side that there are delicious recipes that can take the place of your favorite if unhealthy foods.


Toppings and Dressings
If frying low-cholesterol foods in hydrogenated oils is considered still unhealthy, then putting high-cholesterol toppings and dressings is in the same category. Do avoid food items like creams, gravy and butter on your low-cholesterol food especially when you can enjoy great taste with dressings like fat-free salad mayonnaise, olive oil and safflower oil.


If you find yourself on the verge of caving in to the siren call of the high cholesterol foods on the supermarket shelves and dining establishments, think of the many complications your decision today will result in tomorrow. Did you know that an unhealthy diet rich in high cholesterol food items can lead to heart attacks and strokes? Now, that''s scary, indeed.

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