What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a lipid or fatty substance that is found in our body naturally and is very important for the functioning of the body. This element is necessary to manufacture hormones, vitamin D and bile acids, among other substances. The problem comes when there is an excess of cholesterol in our blood, since it accumulates on the walls of the arteries and can harm our cardiovascular health. For this reason, we must know when it is time to lower cholesterol.
Most of the cholesterol is produced in the liver and the rest comes from the diet. Therefore, if we have high cholesterol, we cannot do anything with the amount that the body makes. But on the contrary, we can modify our diet to reduce it and not affect our health.
Next we are going to name a series of foods that help reduce cholesterol and others that we should avoid.
Reduce cholesterol from diet
Foods to avoid
- Avoid whole dairy foods, they contain saturated fat. Opt for ice cream, milk, cheeses, yogurts, and other low-fat dairy products.
- Eliminate foods that contain vegetable oil from palm or coconut, they have a high level of saturated fat.
- If you want to eat eggs, omit the yolk. It is where all the cholesterol and fat in the egg are found.
- Eliminate the intake of tough meats such as duck or goose and reduce red meat meals.
- Reduce seafood consumption by reserving it only for special occasions.
- Eliminate “trans” fatty acids from the diet, which are mainly found in processed foods. Industrial pastries, French fries, pizzas, snacks or cookies are some of the foods that contain this type of fat.
- Cut down on cold cuts, cold cuts, hot dogs and hamburgers.
- The only fruit that should be eliminated from the diet is coconut, due to its level of fatty acids.
- Avoid the consumption of high alcoholic beverages and reduce the consumption of beer and wine.
- Eliminate butter, cream sauces, and peanut butter.
Foods to include in our diet
- Substitute red meat for white meat like chicken, turkey, and rabbit.
- Consume white and blue fish without heads or entrails.
- Pasta, rice, potatoes and bread are foods to include in meals.
- Legumes are high in fiber and help lower cholesterol, soy is the most recommended.
- Olive oil lowers cholesterol and lowers cardiovascular risk.
- Increase your intake of fruits, vegetables and greens, especially green leafy ones.
- Substitute skimmed dairy for whole dairy.
- Experts say that including avocado in the diet helps lower cholesterol.
- Whole grains also help regulate cholesterol, especially oats.
Each person is a unique case and therefore also their diet. For example, if a person with high cholesterol is also overweight, they will need to reduce their consumption of pasta as they have high levels of carbohydrates. If you want to learn more about what foods to avoid or add to your diet according to your health, discover our Health and Nutrition section.