People with high cholesterol levels have to pay really close attention to their diet. What a lot of people don’t know however, is that the word "diet" doesn’t necessarily imply giving up all their favorite foods and flavors, as the wide variety of available foods makes it super easy to find a tasty replacement for that juicy piece of pork steak.
1. Avocados: Yes
Avocado has long been a friend of healthy diets. That’s because avocados are very rich in nutrients and have a low number of calories. Avocado can increase the level of high cholesterol, provided it’s consumed correctly.
A lot of people know the avocado as an ingredient for making guacamole, a dip that’s best paired with corn chips, which are very high in fat. Avoiding such a combination is a good idea if you want to lower your cholesterol. Instead, slice up avocado and use it as a salad or sandwich ingredient.
2. Fried foods: No
Fried foods are not just a danger for your cholesterol levels, but they can also increase the risk of heart disease and cause obesity. Anything from cheese sticks to deep fried meats is dangerous, as they have a high number of calories, and some of them are also rich in trans fats.
3. Eggs: Yes
Eggs are well-known for their high-nutritional value. However, they are also a major cholesterol-booster. One single egg can have as much as 211 mg of cholesterol, which is 70 percent of the recommended daily intake.
But even so, eggs are an important part of one’s diet, because they are very nutritious, so consuming them in moderation can actually be good for your health. Whole eggs are known for increasing good cholesterol levels, but also provide the body with a lot of beneficial nutrients.
4. Whole grains: Yes
Whole grains are beneficial because the lower the risk of heart disease. There are studies revealing the fact that people that eat three servings of whole grains every day are 20 percent less likely of having a stroke.
That’s because whole grains are not processed, meaning that their integrity is richer in minerals and vitamins, as well as in fiber. Every type of whole grain is good for the health, but there’s a particular emphasis on the benefits of oats and barley. The latter has a high number of beta-glucans (a soluble fiber), which lower the levels of bad cholesterol in the body. Oats also contain beta-glucan, and can lower the total cholesterol levels with up to five percent.
5. Processed meat: No
Every type of processed meat is high in cholesterol and should, therefore, be avoided. Foods such as sausages, hot dogs, or bacon, can lead to heart disease, especially when consumed in higher quantities. Such foods have also been linked to colon cancer.
6: Fatty fish: Yes
While meat is generally bad for the diet, fatty fish are one of the exceptions. That’s because fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are extremely beneficial for one’s health. First of all, they increase the levels of good cholesterol in the body, as well as reduce the chance of a stroke.
7. Sugar: No
As a general rule, anything that contains sugar is bad for the health. This includes everything from cakes to pastries. Sugar is an ingredient very rich in calories, which means that only does it lead to obesity, it has also been linked to different types of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
Even more, eating foods that are rich in sugar will kill your appetite for foods that are actually good and nutritious.
8. Dark chocolate: Yes
Surprising or not, cocoa and dark chocolate lower bad cholesterol. The results of a study have revealed that drinking a cocoa-based beverage twice per day for a month increased the levels of good cholesterol, but also reduces high blood pressure.
Even more, these two foods prevent bad cholesterol from oxidizing, which lowers the risk of heart disease. But keep in mind that chocolate with added sugar is bad for the health, so you should consume either simple cocoa, or chocolate with a cocoa content of at least 75 percent.
9. Trans fats: No
Trans fats can be found in most pre-packaged foods, starting with crackers and ending with margarine. There are foods that naturally contain trans fats, but those that pass through and industrial process are the real danger.
Foods that are rich in trans fats have hydrogenated oil, which is used in the food industry as an ingredient that makes it harder for food to spoil. There are also restaurants that use partially hydrogenated vegetable oil because it requires less changing compared to other types of oils.
10. Olives and olive oil: Yes
Extra virgin olive oil is another ingredient that’s really good for your cholesterol. It reduces the risk of heart attacks by 30 percent. It’s very rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, meaning that it works to reduce bad cholesterol and raises good cholesterol levels. Extra virgin olive oil also contains polyphenols, which have been linked to inflammation reduction, thus lowering the risk of heart disease.