High cholesterol levels can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke, so it is important to keep an eye on your cholesterol. Changing your diet can lower your blood cholesterol, Express.co.uk explains what to AVOID in your mission to lower cholesterol.
What are the worst foods for high cholesterol?
If you have a high cholesterol level, you need to assess how much fat you are eating.
More importantly, you need to look at what kinds of fats you are eating.
Some fats are good for cholesterol levels, while others raise your cholesterol.
There are two main types of fat: saturated fat and unsaturated fat.
Saturated fats can raise the level of cholesterol, and unfortunately, they’re found in lots of food.
Foods high in saturated fat include:
• Meat pies
• Sausages and fatty cuts of meat
• Butter, ghee and lard
• Hard cheeses
• Cakes and biscuits
• Foods containing coconut or palm oil
Trans fats are another type of fat that can raise cholesterol levels.
You will find trans fats naturally in small amounts in some foods such as meat, milk and dairy foods.
However, artificial trans fats are more common and can be found in some processed foods such as biscuits and cakes.
Most Brits don’t eat a lot of trans fats, but you should always check food labels for trans fats.
Watch out for a label that says hydrogenated fats or hydrogenated oils, since trans fats are found in hydrogenated fats.
What are the best foods for cholesterol?
As mentioned above, saturated fat is a key player in high cholesterol.
Eating foods that contain unsaturated fat instead of saturated fat will reduce your cholesterol levels.
Foods high in unsaturated fats include:
• Oily fish – such as mackerel and salmon
• Nuts – such as almonds and cashews
• Seeds – such as sunflower and pumpkin seeds
• Vegetable oils and spreads – such as rapeseed or vegetable oil, sunflower, olive, corn and walnut oils
Fibre-packed foods will lower your cholesterol, and adults should aim for at least 30g of fibre a day.
Make sure you mix your sources of fibre and eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
Good sources of fibre include:
• Wholemeal bread, bran and wholegrain cereals
• Fruit and vegetables
• Potatoes with their skins on
• Oats and barley
• Pulses, such as beans, peas and lentils
• Nuts and seeds