It’s fairly well-known that there are two kinds of cholesterol – the “good” HDL cholesterol and the “bad” LDL cholesterol. Therefore, just because something is high in cholesterol doesn’t clarify whether that food is good or bad for you. In this article, we set the record straight. The following are some of the foods that are highest in LDL cholesterol. Avoid these foods to help protect your health. (For information on lowering your LDL cholesterol, read How To Reduce LDL Cholesterol Naturally.)
Sadly, one of America’s favorite desserts is loaded with unhealthy cholesterol. Some of the added ingredients in your favorite flavors – chocolate, fudge, caramel, etc. – can drive those numbers up even further. Instead of ice cream, go for sorbet, which is made with water rather than dairy or some fresh fruit mixed with yogurt. It’s more refreshing and just as sweet. Another healthy alternative would be a low-fat frozen yogurt.
This particular cut of meat is the worst offender in the cholesterol department. Even when the fat is well-trimmed and it’s cooked in olive oil, a 3-ounce rib-eye steak accounts for 26 percent of the recommended cholesterol allowance per day, according to About.com. Meat lovers should opt for other cuts of meat, such as rump, round, tip, flank or tenderloin – to decrease their cholesterol count.
Cheeseburgers tend to be especially bad for you in the cholesterol department. According to About.com, a plain cheeseburger with condiments and vegetables has about 52 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol. That doesn’t seem like much, but imagine how much that number can increase when you double the meat and cheese in the popular double-cheeseburger options at so many fast food restaurants. Instead of a cheeseburger (particularly those of the fast-food variety), have a cheese-free burger made from grass-fed beef, which has a fatty acid ratio that is close to what is found in fish.
While some types of seafood are good for your cholesterol levels, others are the opposite. Lobsters fall into the latter category due to the fact that 3 ounces of lobster contains about 61 mg of cholesterol. You can add a lot more to that number if you dip your lobster in butter, as most people do. If you do want to eat seafood, go for fish, scallops or oysters and make sure they are broiled rather than fried.
Chicken can be great for your health if you cook it the right way. Many people think that eating chicken is good for them even if it’s fried. However, fried chicken or chicken with the skin still on has just as much cholesterol and fat as ice cream or a hamburger. When eating chicken, the healthier way to go is to choose skinless, white meat that has not been fried. Experiment with baking, braising, stir-fry and grilling chicken to make this meat just as appetizing as when it’s fried. For more nutritional information on chicken, check out the Health Benefits Of Chicken.
Though it does have lots of iron, liver is also high in cholesterol. After all, cholesterol is made and stored in the liver, so it usually has the highest concentration of cholesterol in animal meats. This should be a careful indulgence for most due to the high cholesterol levels, and those with cholesterol problems should skip it altogether.
Most dairy products aren’t doing much to help your cholesterol intake. Traditional macaroni and cheese contains whole milk, butter and plenty of cheese, all of which contain a significant amount of cholesterol and saturated fats. If you still crave this comfort food, substitute 1 percent milk or evaporated milk for butter and whole milk, and use a low-fat cheese. These substitutions cut the fat and cholesterol content of the dish by more than half.
Those large, plump and fluffy muffins overflowing their wrappers may be tempting, but they come at a cost – they’re almost always loaded with fat and cholesterol. Instead of choosing a traditional muffin for breakfast, choose an English muffin (which usually has no saturated fat or cholesterol) or a low-fat bran muffin instead. You’ll save on cholesterol and get a better start to your day.
Although margarine was originally touted as the solution to butter’s unhealthy qualities, it doesn’t help when it comes to your cholesterol. Margarine is loaded with hydrogenated oils, trans fat and saturated fat, which drive up your cholesterol levels. The best substitute for margarine is olive oil – try to do more of your cooking with this healthier oil. When you need a butter-like consistency, opt for whipped, reduced-fat or fat-free soft spreads. To learn more about different cooking oils, read Healthy Cooking Oils To Use In The Kitchen.
Always take your personal health into account when making dietary decisions. The general guidelines from the American Heart Association indicate that your cholesterol intake should be less than 300 mg per day. If you have high cholesterol already, try reducing that number to 200 mg a day. Ask your doctor if you have any concerns about your cholesterol levels or your diet.