Cholesterol is a vital steroid lipid circulating in the blood. It keeps the cell membranes functional and acts as a source of vitamin D.
High-density lipoprotein and low-density lipoprotein are the primary forms of cholesterol. HDL cholesterol is thought to be “good” because it moves cholesterol from your blood to your liver, where it can be removed. LDL is the “bad” type of cholesterol, which causes cholesterol to build up in the blood. This causes the arteries to harden, resulting in atherosclerosis.
It is believed that high cholesterol results from the consumption of foods with excessive saturated fat and less fiber, in addition to being overweight, smoking, and drinking excessively. Some people inherit a predisposition for high cholesterol.
Some populations may be susceptible to cholesterol found in the diet; however, dietary cholesterol consumption is not the primary cause. This article explores foods that are rich in cholesterol and harmful to the body. These include:
Salt and fat are high in processed meats like bacon and sausages. Meats that have been salted, dried, canned, or cured are also rich in fats, raising your levels of LDL.
These are generally fried in trans-fat-laden oils. This raises cholesterol and heart disease risks.
Hydrogenated Or Partially Hydrogenated Oils
Margarine and coconut oils are typical examples of this, as they are used in commercially prepared baked goods. Trans fats like those found in these oils harm cardiovascular health and cholesterol levels. (1)
Soda, cakes, cookies, and other sweets fall into this category. High-sugar diets raise not only the levels of total cholesterol but also triglycerides and LDL cholesterol.
Alcohol raises triglycerides. Alcohol can raise cholesterol levels and injure the heart.
Whole-milk cheese is high in saturated fat. Overeating cheese might raise your cholesterol levels.
Liver and Offal
Organ meats, or offal, like liver, are nutritious powerhouses, but their high cholesterol content makes them less than ideal for regular consumption.
Typical cuts of red meat, such as lamb, are very high in LDL or bad cholesterol. (2)
Typically, whole milk heavy cream contains a high amount of saturated fats. Whipping cream that is sold commercially might also be unhealthy. It can result in elevated cholesterol levels in addition to high-calorie intake.
Saturated fats and calories are abundant in chips, snacks, and sweets, including doughnuts, pastries, and cookies. These can significantly raise your cholesterol levels if you consume many of them frequently.
The Bottom Line
Deficiencies in cholesterol are uncommon because the human body can quickly produce it. Cholesterol is made in the liver and transported around the body by proteins. When we eat meals that are high in cholesterol, our bodies respond by decreasing their own production of cholesterol to maintain a steady internal level.
Lifestyle and dietary modifications can make a huge difference in blood cholesterol levels. If they do not improve with these changes, consider taking blood cholesterol tests. Walk-in labs have revolutionized testing procedures, making them more convenient and accessible.
- Mensink, R. P., & Katan, M. B. (1990). Effect of Dietary trans-Fatty Acids on High-Density and Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol Levels in Healthy Subjects. New England Journal of Medicine, 323(7), 439–445. https://doi.org/10.1056/nejm199008163230703
- Document – Gale OneFile: Health and Medicine. (n.d.). Go.gale.com. Retrieved August 30, 2022, from https://go.gale.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA169311702&sid=googleScholar&v=2.1&it=r&linkaccess=abs&issn=14466368&p=HRCA&sw=w&userGroupName=anon%7Ed34080bc