You probably know that high cholesterol is a common issue in the US.
However, many people don’t realize that you can improve cholesterol levels by making better dietary choices.
When you eat unhealthy fats, it can worsen your cholesterol. Conversely, healthy fats can help to improve good cholesterol, which can be somewhat protective when cholesterol is elevated.
There’s a lot more technical detail regarding cholesterol, but let’s take a look at some practical information.
Foods that contain unhealthy fats (i.e. these worsen cholesterol) include:
- Fatty cuts of meat (bacon, non-lean cuts of meat, etc.)
- Red meat (beef, steak, hamburger, lamb, veal, venison, ham, etc.)
- Fried and greasy foods (French fries, potato chips, etc.)
- Breaded foods, especially breaded meats (mozzarella sticks, battered fish sticks, etc.)
- Processed meats (salami, bologna, pepperoni, sausage, etc.)
- Full fat dairy (ice cream, creamer, sour cream, milkshakes, etc.)
- Cheese (this falls in the dairy category but is worth mentioning separately as it is a BIG factor for many people)
- Creamy / rich sauces and dressings (ranch dressing, bleu cheese dressing, etc.)
- Low quality oils added to processed foods (check labels for saturated fat; avoid products with the word “hydrogenated” or “trans-fat” in the ingredient list)
Foods that contain healthier fats include:
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Seeds like flax, hemp, chia, etc.
Note: the above lists are an overview and by no means comprehensive.
The extent to which food choices can impact your cholesterol varies, so always discuss your cholesterol concerns with your own healthcare provider to ensure you have the best information for your health.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not medical advice. Always check with your own healthcare provider before making changes to your routine.
This blog and website do not provide medical advice. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Always check with your own healthcare provider before taking a new supplement and before making any significant diet, lifestyle, exercise or other changes. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on this site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.