Are you unsure of the foods that cause high cholesterol? There are a number of culprits, some which you may well be aware of, and others which may surprise you.
In this article we provide a quick rundown of 10 of the foods most likely to increase your cholesterol levels. While you shouldn’t completely eliminate all of these from your diet, you need to carefully manage and monitor your consumption.
1. Fried foods
While it is hard to resist french fries, deep fried chicken or other fried foods, you should avoid fried foods whenever possible. They are high in sodium, fat and cholesterol.
In addition to this, a recent study conducted by Dr Zhen-Yu Chen at the Chinese University of Hong Kong revealed perhaps the most significant reason why fried foods aren’t good for us: oxycholesterol.
This is formed when any food containing cholesterol is grilled or fried. It apparently gives an additional boost to blood cholesterol levels and presents an increased risk of damage to arteries.
While this theory requires further study and testing, it makes a compelling case for avoiding fried foods.
Eggs aren’t quite as nasty as once thought. They are a rich source of protein, but unfortunately the yolk is one of the most cholesterol rich foods around.
Eggs make for a good breakfast every now and then, but you’ll need to take special care of your food intake for the rest of the day. An egg yolk or two will make up a huge part of your daily cholesterol allowance.
Fast food burgers contain a good chunk of cholesterol. A Burger King Whopper Sandwich is estimated at 75mg, a Wendy’s Bacon Deluxe at 120mg (40% of the daily allowance), while a Big Mac clocks in at around 85mg.
To lower your cholesterol intake when eating burgers, skip the cheese, sauce and fries on the side. Even better: make your own lean meat patties and make your own burgers at home.
Chicken burgers are another option, but don’t deep fry the patties.
4. Ice cream
A cup of rich, full cream ice cream may contain more fat than a hamburger, and up to twice as much cholesterol, depending on the type of ice cream.
If you really have an ice cream craving, stick to light or fat-free ice creams. Avoid full cream or rich ice creams.
Red meat is a big cholesterol contributor, while also being rich in saturated fats. Even a small portion of lean steak can contribute 20% or more of your daily cholesterol allowance.
Consider lighter meats like lean pork or chicken. If you cannot swear off red meat, limit your portions and use cuts like tenderloin, flank steak and New York strip (with all excess fat trimmed off, of course).
Need help managing your cholesterol? Try a natural supplement like Choleslo.
More High Cholesterol Foods
With the exception of shellfish, you wouldn’t typically count seafood among the foods that cause high cholesterol.
In fact, even shellfish, which traditionally had a bad cholesterol rating, is now considered fairly safe to consume in moderation.
The problem with seafood, however, is not the seafood itself, but the way in which it is prepared. Fried in butter, or served with a rich tartar sauce, our friends from the ocean can quickly become contaminated with large loads of cholesterol.
If you like seafood, find healthy ways of preparing it and skip the sauces.
Even with some fava beans and a nice chianti, liver of any kind remains the food highest in cholesterol. This is not surprising, since cholesterol is made in the liver.
Just 3 ounces of liver can contribute 300mg of cholesterol. That is three times more than the same amount of lean red meat.
Popular cheeses like feta, cheddar and gouda are all high in cholesterol. The cheeses lowest in cholesterol are low fat American cheese, parmesan, part skim mozarella and ricotta.
9. Processed foods
Crackers, cookies, potato chips / crisps. If it is sold in a box on the shelf, it is most likely bad for you. Nearly all of them have a high trans-fat content, as well as unhealthy additives and preservatives.
These foods are popular for snacking, and can make a large contribution towards your daily cholesterol intake. Cut down on them, and learn to move on to healthier snacks, like dried fruit.
10. Whey protein supplements
Whey protein is popular among sports people, but whey concentrate supplements can contain large amounts of cholesterol. In cheaper brands, this can be as much as 170g per serving. Read the nutritional labels on protein supplements before you buy. Alternatively, choose whey isolate supplements, where most of the fat and cholesterol have been removed.
That was 10 foods that cause high cholesterol. Remember though, that moderation is the key. You don’t want to completely obliterate your cholesterol intake. Your body needs it.
Simply cut down on these danger foods and avoid eating them in excess.