What Foods Cause High Cholesterol?
What are the foods that cause high cholesterol?
A quick note on the cholesterol in food
What foods can cause high cholesterol? 6 things to look out for
- Meat, especially fatty red meat and meat products: Fatty red meat and meat products – such as sausages, pies, and pastries – tend to contain lots of saturated fat. For example, some sausages have a whopping 5g of saturated fat in each one – that means you’d get about a half of the recommended daily intake of saturated fat by eating just two.
Try swapping these fatty meats with oily fish, white fish, and vegetarian protein (pulses, beans, tofu) when you can. When only meat will do, go for leaner cuts, and remove the visible fat from meat (such as bacon rind) when you can, as this is saturated.
- Full fat cheese: As tasty as they are, full fat cheeses are also high in saturated fat: a 30g portion of brie contains 5g of saturated fat! It’s a good idea to go for reduced fat cheeses where possible. If you love to liven up dishes with a sprinkle of cheese on top, try adding a tablespoon of dry-fried seeds instead.
- Full fat milk: Whole milk has 23% of your recommended daily allowance of saturated fat in just 200mls (a small glass). The closest alternatives are semi-skimmed or skimmed milk, and soya or nut-based milks. If you’re trying to lower your cholesterol, a skimmed milk with added plant sterols can help**.
- Butter: With 7g in just one tablespoon, butter is very high in saturated fat. If you tend to cook with it, try using a plant-based oil instead – olive, sunflower, rapeseed, vegetable oils are all much lower in saturates and they’re sources of unsaturated fat, too. For sandwiches, toast, mash, and all the other times butter calls to you, vegetable oil-based spreads, such as Flora ProActiv Buttery, are a good alternative.
- Coconut oil, milk and cream: Coconut-based products are surprisingly high in saturated fat, so be careful if you use them in your cooking. It’s simple enough to cook with olive oil instead of coconut oil. In curries, try using a tablespoon of low fat natural yoghurt to replace coconut milk and cream.
- Pastries, cakes, and biscuits: We all love a tasty cake, but unfortunately these are also high up on the list of cholesterol offenders. Look to reduce your intake of these treats, and if cooking them yourself, replace ingredients like butter with vegetable based spreads or oils instead.
* Replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats in the diet has been shown to lower blood cholesterol. High cholesterol is a risk factor in the development of coronary heart disease.
**Flora ProActiv contains plant sterols. A daily intake of 1.5 – 2.4g sterols can lower cholesterol by 7 – 10% in 2 – 3 weeks as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle including plenty of fruits and vegetables. High cholesterol is one of the risk factors in the development of coronary heart disease. There are many risk factors for coronary heart disease, and it is important to take care of all of them to reduce the overall risk of it.