There is a close link between high blood cholesterol levels and heart disease, making cholesterol health a priority for your overall health. One of the most effective means for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels is through avoiding foods that increase total cholesterol levels. By following a few simple guidelines, you can maintain healthy levels of both LDL and HDL cholesterol and avoid complications related to elevated cholesterol.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is found in the blood stream and is a waxy-like substance that is fundamental to healthy cell function, membrane formation and hormone function. However, at high levels, cholesterol can build up in cell walls as heavy plaque deposit that can inhibit healthy blood flow.
Foods that are high in saturated fats, or trans fatty acids, will increase the levels of your bad blood cholesterol, or LDLs, more than any other dietary component. The best thing to do is avoid saturated fats to being with by checking nutritional labels and decreasing the amount of fried food you eat.
The quality and cut of meat products are imporant elements of maintaining a low cholesterol level. Avoiding meats that contain the word "prime" or have a high level of white fat, or marbling, running through the grain of the meat are the most important elements. Also, avoid meat products that contain more than 3g of fat per ounce.
Some dairy products, particularly those that contain whole milk, such as ice cream and cheese, are generally high in cholesterol. You should also avoid eggs, cream cheese, processed cheese, custard products and heavy creams, which are high in cholesterol. To keep cholesterol levels low, opt for skimmed milk, low fat products and dairy options that are made with 1 per cent milk.
Excess consumption of carobohydrates can be a hidden component of high blood cholesterol levels. Unused carbohydrates are converted into glucose and then triglycerides, which are stored in fatty tissues. To avoid elevated triglycerides, opt for whole grains and oats instead of complex carbohydrates.
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