Cholesterol is a fatty, waxy substance that is synthesized by the liver. Cholesterol is an integral part of the cell membranes. It performs various vital functions. It helps in producing and using vitamin D effectively and also helps in the functioning of serotonin receptors. In addition, it also acts as a transportation mode, for vitamins like A and E. It is the lipoproteins that act as the carriers of cholesterol and lipids. While low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is referred to as the "bad" cholesterol, high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is called "good" cholesterol. While LDL acts as the major carrier of cholesterol, it is HDL that recycles LDL and takes it back to the liver where it can be processed. While cholesterol is essential for the functioning of the body, a high cholesterol diet can make one susceptible to heart ailments. A buildup of LDL can block the arteries and give rise to coronary heart disease. Thus, people who have been diagnosed with a heart disease are usually cautioned against the intake of foods high in cholesterol. Those with a family history of heart diseases also need to be cautioned about these foods.
So what exactly are the foods which have high cholesterol? Foods that are high in cholesterol are the ones that contain saturated fats and trans fat. Fats are categorized into monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, saturated fats and trans fats. A diet that is rich in saturated fats and trans fats is most likely to raise the levels of bad cholesterol in the body. As animal products have a higher percentage of saturated fats, they result in increasing cholesterol levels in the body. The other high cholesterol foods are dairy products, eggs and certain types of seafood.
High Cholesterol Foods List
Foods High in Cholesterol and Saturated Fat
Found mainly in animal products, saturated fats increase the LDL levels. It is usually recommended that people suffering from heart ailments must limit their intake of saturated fat to 7 percent to 10 percent, of their diet. Here is a list of foods high in cholesterol and saturated fats.
|Eggs||1||212 mg||2 mg|
|Butter||1 tsp||11 mg||3 mg|
|Whole Milk||1 Cup||33 mg||5 mg|
|Low-Fat Milk||1 Cup||10 mg||2 mg|
|Lean Ground Beef||3.5 oz.||78 mg||7 mg|
|Beef||3.5 oz.||89 mg||5 mg|
|Beef Liver||3.5 oz.||389 mg||2 mg|
|Cheddar Cheese||1 oz.||30 mg||6 mg|
|Pork Chop||3.5 oz.||85 mg||10 mg|
|Pork Tenderloin||3.5 oz.||79 mg||2 mg|
|Chicken (skinless)||3.5 oz.||85 mg||1 mg|
Risk Posed by Foods High in Cholesterol and Saturated Fat
An increase in the cholesterol levels can lead to cardiovascular diseases and atherosclerosis (narrowing of arteries) and it also leads to formation of fat deposits especially on the internal organs. As a person gets older, the body's metabolism slows down considerably, leading to development of cholesterol deposits, thereby causing severe health problems. Therefore, doctors usually warn heart patients and older people and advise them not to consume high cholesterol foods. It is vital to remember, that the foods containing high cholesterol is not really the only culprit, of all the cholesterol-related problems. There are other causes of high cholesterol like, the way the food is cooked and the medium used to cook the food. These are also contributory factors for high levels of bad cholesterol. So consumption of a single egg or maybe two will not result in a heart attack! Even when it is comes to food, moderation is key to good health.
Dietary Changes that Help in Lowering Cholesterol
Since cholesterol performs several vital functions, it would be best to follow a diet that includes cholesterol lowering foods and cut down on the intake of foods that will elevate the levels of LDL or the bad cholesterol. Studies have revealed that fruits such as apples, grapes and strawberries contain phytochemicals that can help in lowering bad cholesterol, thereby reducing the risk of coronary heart disease. Oats, barley and whole grain are healthy foods, that will help in lowering cholesterol. It would be best to follow a low fat diet. The best way to keep cholesterol levels under control is to avoid taking foods that are high in cholesterol and saturated fat, and include foods that contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Fatty cuts of meat, processed meat, butter, shortening, hydrogenated oils, whole-milk dairy products and processed food such as cakes, cookies, muffins and pastries top the list of foods high in cholesterol and saturated fat and must therefore be avoided. Trans fats or hydrogenated fats are worse for cholesterol levels because they raise LDL cholesterol and lower HDL ("good") cholesterol. Commercially baked goods, margarine, fried and processed food, are sources of trans fat. Thus, it would be best to cook food in vegetable oils such as canola oil, olive oil or sunflower oil. These oils are rich in monounsaturated fats and don't contribute to high levels of LDL.
After taking a look at the list of foods high in cholesterol and going through the aforementioned information given in this write-up, you would have understood how important it is to eliminate certain foods from your diet. Though cholesterol is essential for the body, one must never indulge in excessive consumption of cholesterol-rich foods and keep a strict vigil on how such foods are cooked. It is extremely essential that one makes the necessary lifestyle-related changes to keep one's heart in a healthy condition.