Heart disease is the primary cause of deaths around the world. Having too much cholesterol can lead to severe cardiac issues. Thankfully, you can control and reduce the cholesterol levels by watching what you eat, i.e. the right cholesterol foods. Everything that you ingest has an impact on the cholesterol levels. Here is our cholesterol food list that increases cholesterol and foods that lower cholesterol.
The Good Foods List aka Cholesterol foods to Eat
Eating your pulses, beans, and peas will ensure that the cholesterol levels stay in check. They are rich in fiber, protein, and essential minerals. They are not calorie dense so help with weight management too.
Nuts are rich in protein, monounsaturated fats (good fats) and other nutrients. They improve heart health, regulate blood pressure and lower cholesterol. They are known as cholesterol absorbing foods.
- Whole Grains
Eating whole grains like oats, barley, and quinoa help to reduce cholesterol and improve cardiac health. They are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They help lower LDL (the bad cholesterol).
Fruits are full of soluble fiber that they are known as cholesterol-lowering foods. They stop the formation of cholesterol from being formed in the liver itself. They prevent heart issues due to their antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties. Apples, grapes, citrus, and berries are good options.
- Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate has a high amount of antioxidants. This leads to a reduction in LDL (bad cholesterol) and prevents its oxidation in the body leading to a better heart function. Take note to eat a less sweet variety to keep sugar levels in check.
The Bad and The Ugly
- Refined Vegetable Oil
All refined vegetable oils undergo a process of hydrogenation to improve their shelf life. Try to use virgin or cold pressed oils. Refined versions of safflower, canola, corn, and soy oil are harmful to your health.
- Packaged Food
Processed and packaged food is high in trans fats and increases the amount of bad cholesterol in the body. Stay away from chips, crackers and other snack items that come in packets.
- Ice Cream and Cream Cheese
Ice cream has more fat than ten doughnuts. If you want to lower cholesterol levels, stay away from cream cheese and ice creams as they are very calorie dense.
- Fried Foods
When food is fried, its nutritive value decreases and trans fats increase making it very harmful. So avoid French fries and pakoras if lowering cholesterol is your aim.
- Commercial Baked Goods
Most commercial baked goods are made with hydrogenated oil and are loaded with sugar. They make a delicious treat, but they are terrible for your cholesterol levels. Cookies, muffins, pastries, candies, and cakes come under this list.
- Microwave Popcorn
Microwave popcorn is full of butter and salt and increases the LDL in the body. A fat-free version with very little or no salt would be a better alternative.
Eating right and making healthy food choices will ensure that your cardiac health and your cholesterol levels are good.