Let’s be honest, cholesterol hasn’t always had the best reputation when it comes to maintaining a healthy heart. For a long time, people avoided high cholesterol foods, under the impression that high cholesterol increased the risk of heart disease.
But recent evidence shows that maintaining good cholesterol levels isn’t a matter of eliminating high cholesterol foods from the diet. Rather, it’s about lowering the ‘bad’ cholesterol by swapping high cholesterol foods that are high in saturated fats with healthier alternatives.
We know what you’re thinking: there’s ‘bad’ versus ‘good’ cholesterol? Yes, there is! And by reducing the saturated fat in your diet and replacing it with unsaturated fat, you can help lower the ‘bad’ LDL-cholesterol in your body and reap the benefits of the ‘good’ HDL-cholesterol.
Here are the high cholesterol foods that you can replace with reduced or unsaturated fat to help lower your ‘bad’ cholesterol and that will allow you to enjoy a cholesterol-friendly diet!
Rather than drinking whole milk, opt for a milk alternative that is low-fat. Skim milk, for example, is a great choice for milk lovers and often contains plant sterols and stanols. Plant sterols and stanols help the body block the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream and lower the ‘bad’ LDL-cholesterol.
And speaking of foods with plant sterols, try to replace butter with a healthier oil whenever possible. It’s quite common for people to cook or bake with butter, but if you can find healthier ways to cook than with this highly saturated fat, your cholesterol levels will thank you later! Try using vegetable oil or olive oil, which can be used to sauté your vegetables or on a piece of toast in the morning.
Whether it be to maintain good cholesterol levels or to improve your overall health, eating nutritious snacks in place of baked goods boasts countless benefits. The next time you find yourself craving something sweet, opt for a piece of fresh fruit. And try to incorporate more vegetables into your diet as a snack time munchie, as they are ideal for enjoying a cholesterol-friendly diet.
For dinner time, treat yourself more often to a delicious fish dish instead of meat. Oily fish, such as mackerel, salmon, and tuna, are fantastic sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce your triglycerides, another type of fat in your blood. Omega-3 can reduce your chances of developing blood clots, and can also reduce your blood pressure. While these omega-3 fishes don’t directly affect your ‘bad’ LDL-cholesterol levels, they certainly boast plenty of other benefits that make them a healthy heart favourite!
White bread or sugar-coated cereals
We know that substituting your favourite sugary cereal in the mornings can be a bit of a sacrifice. But it is certainly one to make if you want to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Try swapping your sugar-coated cereals, as well as white bread, with oats and whole-grain bread. Oatmeal is a wonderful alternative for people who love cereal. Enjoy a bowl of oatmeal topped with sweet fruit and even a dash of cinnamon for a delicious and healthy breakfast. Oatmeal is full of soluble fibre, which lowers ‘bad’ cholesterol by reducing the absorption of it into your bloodstream.
What we eat makes a tremendous impact on our health, that’s why we have created this list of 5 high cholesterol foods to avoid. Making the right adjustments to our diet means we can still indulge in some delicious, yet nutritious food. If you need extra help ask your doctor to refer you to a dietitian, they can give you a personalised diet to improve your health.