Question: What kind of foods should you eat if you are trying to avoid high cholesterol levels?
To understand what foods are good and bad for you, it can be good to have an advanced knowledge of exactly what cholesterol is. Cholesterol and triglycerides are the two types of fat that are found in the human bloodstream. These ‘blood fats’ are also known as lipids. Your body makes cholesterol in your liver, and it gets it from the foods you eat.
Cholesterol is an odd substance, for you need it to survive, but too much of it can be very detrimental to your health. High cholesterol levels in the blood stream, if left unchecked, can block blood flow and increase your risk of various heart problems, including atherosclerosis and carotid artery disease.
There are two types of cholesterol- low density lipoproteins and high density lipoproteins. A high level of LDLs massively increases your risk for a heart attack due to a buildup of fat on the inside walls of blood vessels. For this reason, low density lipoproteins are referred to as “bad” cholesterol, while high-density lipoproteins reduce your risk for an attack.
Foods to avoid high cholesterol levels are all around you. Foods that you should avoid to keep your cholesterol low include whole eggs, organ meats such as chicken livers, brains, hearts, kidneys, or sweetbreads. Shellfish should also be avoided, as should snacks and meats that are high in saturated fats. Fried food is usually a no-no for keeping your cholesterol low; also, you should avoid desserts that have a high fat content.
There’s still plenty of foods to eat that are cholesterol-friendly. To lower your cholesterol intake, simple moves like removing fat from meat before cooking it and using only egg whites can go a long way. As far as foods to avoid high cholesterol in general, you should stick to fat free dairy products, eat only lean meats, fish, skinless poultry, whole grain foods, fruits and vegetables. Also, keep your eyes open for margarine that contains little saturated fat.
Foods high in soluble fiber can also help your body avoid high LDL levels. Soluble fiber can be found in such foods as oats, oranges, pears, brussel sprouts, and carrots.