Foods to avoid to lower cholesterol levels
Cholesterol is an important bodybuilding block composed of a waxy substance that helps makeup cell walls, absorb vitamins and minerals, and regulate body hormones.
However important it is, we need to strike the right balance of cholesterol levels in our bodies. Cholesterol is associated with cardiovascular disease which is turning out to be one of the major causes of death globally.
There are two types of cholesterol; HDL (high-density lipoprotein) and LDL (low-density lipoprotein). Healthy levels of HDL cholesterol protect against heart disease. High cholesterol levels, LDL is associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
LDL considered ‘bad type’ gets “stuck” to the blood vessel wall. It creates blockages and causes atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. Atherosclerosis is risky for cardiac arrest events such as stroke, heart attack, or pulmonary disease.
HDL is healthy as it is a larger molecule and does not become as “sticky” LDL. Low HDL is not good for body health. LDL transports nutrients from the liver to the cells in the body while HDL cholesterol acts as a transporter from the cells back to the liver for excretion.
However, cholesterol can be improved through changes in lifestyle and food diets.
Cholesterol risky foods
Majorly, red meat and animal products such as dairy products contain dietary cholesterol. These groups of foods are not essentially bad but when overconsumed can result in heart diseases.
Fast food contains unhealthy trans fats and oils. Fast food such as breakfast biscuits, french fries, and hash browns contain high levels of unhealthy dietary cholesterol.
Processed foods are foods that have been modified from their original whole food version. Processed foods include snack foods, too hot dogs, and sausages.
Processed foods increase cholesterol levels and are a risk factor to heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.
Some margarine brands contain trans fats which increase the risk of heart disease and raise LDL levels. Margarine is often used in place of butter and is not a heart-healthy food.
However, some plant-based oils such as canola, sunflower, plant stanols, plant compounds may improve heart health.
Sweets and Desserts
Desserts such as ice cream, pastries, cookies, and cakes are all high in sugar and fat which is unhealthy. They contribute to elevated LDL levels and high triglyceride levels.
They also contain hydrogenated oils which can cause clogging of arteries and increasing the risk for cardiovascular arrest.