9 Tips For Limiting Cholesterol In Your Diet
Foods high in cholesterol also tend to be high in saturated fat and other unhealthy fats, so it’s important to limit the amount of cholesterol in your diet.
You don’t have to be a nutritionist to know that you shouldn’t eat French fries or fried chicken very often. They’re high in sodium and saturated fats – and a diet high in saturated and trans fats can raise your blood cholesterol levels, putting you at risk for heart disease, according to the American Heart Association (AHA).
Fatty animal products such as meat and dairy products are high in saturated fats, and baked goods and fast food also contain trans fats. LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, in particular, can be too high in a diet high in saturated fat, so the AHA recommends that saturated fat should not exceed 5 to 6 percent of total calories In a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet, no more than 120 calories should come from saturated fat. That’s a maximum of 11 to 13 grams (g) of saturated fat per day.
It is important to note that what increases cholesterol in the body has changed. For example, the previous dietary guidelines stated that dietary cholesterol intake should not exceed 300 mg per day. However, this guideline changed in 2015 and there are no longer specific recommendations to limit the amount of cholesterol you should consume in your diet. In fact, studies have shown that dietary cholesterol by itself is not harmful and does not help raise cholesterol levels in the body. The real culprits are saturated fats, trans fats, and added sugars.
However, you should always be aware of the amount of cholesterol you consume from food, as cholesterol-rich foods are often also high in saturated fats and other unhealthy fats.
Here are nine tips for limiting cholesterol to help you maintain a healthy diet
- Eat eggs for breakfast and strive for cholesterol balance
Once banned from the breakfast table, eggs are now considered a relatively healthy option.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in May 2018 found that eating 12 eggs a week did not increase the risk of heart disease in people with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. However, you need to consider your overall diet.
According to the AHA, eggs can be part of a heart-healthy diet as long as you don’t get your cholesterol from other sources, such as visible fatty meats, skin or fatty dairy products.
So, if you eat eggs for breakfast, don’t have a cheeseburger for lunch.
- Reconsider the cheeseburger, it’s high in saturated fat
Speaking of cheeseburgers, if you’re like most Americans, you occasionally eat them at fast food restaurants. But before you order that double cheeseburger, consider this: a McDonald’s Big Mac contains 10 grams of saturated fat, while everything in a Wendy’s classic double cheeseburger contains 20 grams of saturated fat (which is more than the maximum recommended daily amount! ). You can eat your fries and shake as is, or order a regular burger.
- Make your macaroni and cheese healthier
Whole milk, butter and cheese, the typical ingredients in macaroni and cheese, are high in saturated fat. But this American convenience recipe doesn’t have to be a cholesterol-causing food. By replacing butter and whole milk with 1% evaporated milk and using low-fat cheese, you can have macaroni and cheese with fewer calories and about one-third less fat and saturated fat than traditional recipes.
- Replacing ice cream with fresh fruit
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (pdf), 49.9 million gallons of complete ice were produced in the U.S. in 2019, an increase of nearly 14 percent over the previous year. The cold, sweet treat has become a staple in many American households. But did you know that a cup of ice cream has more fat than a hamburger and almost twice as much saturated fat as a frozen donut? Put down the spoon and try a cup of fresh fruit for dessert instead. Fruit is low in calories and high in fiber, vitamins, and nutrients.
- Give up prime rib and eat lean meat instead
Even under the best of circumstances (trimmed fat and cooked in olive oil), a 4-ounce piece of rib (only slightly larger than a deck of playing cards) will absorb most of your recommended daily intake of saturated fat. With nothing else to eat, you’ll end up eating more than 50% of your allowable saturated fat, which doesn’t leave much room in your day. If you’re not ready to say goodbye to beef, consider lean meats – such as tenderloin or steak, round, rump, or tenderloin – that have less saturated fat and lower cholesterol.
- Make sure your muffins are low fat
Sure, you can eat English muffins without saturated fat or cholesterol, but many other muffins – especially those full of tempting extra ingredients you can buy or bake at home – can contain up to 8 grams of fat per muffin and more than one muffin. It can also contain: Low-fat bran muffins made with whole wheat flour are a better choice because they have less fiber and less fat. Look for products made with vegetable oils to get the healthiest fat content.
- Choose skinless chicken
In general, chicken is a good choice for low-fat meat, but the way it is cooked and served can make all the difference. For example, a chicken thigh with the skin still on is higher in fat and saturated fat than a hamburger. Remember, removing the skin helps reduce the overall fat content. Try fried chicken once in a while, either grilled or baked.
Deep-frying chicken or breading chicken with the skin intact is unhealthy and can lead to elevated cholesterol. Also, remember that brown chicken has more fat than white meat. When choosing chicken, choose skinless and avoid dark meat.
- Eat liver in moderation
The liver is rich in iron, which may be good for you, but if you’re worried about cholesterol, this is a food to watch out for.” I personally don’t like the taste.” King says.” But it does provide good nutrition. However, eating too much of it can hurt your liver.” In some people, it may contribute to the formation of kidney stones and raise cholesterol levels.
- Snacking can also lead to higher cholesterol levels in some people
Trans fats can turn healthy foods into foods with elevated cholesterol. These fats are hydrogenated vegetable oils that are used in many commercial baked and fried foods, including cookies, cakes, chips, onion rings, and crackers. Whether fried, baked, crunchy or stuffed, many of your favorite foods are bad for your cholesterol levels.
Know the allowable amounts of fat, saturated fat, and trans fat. Remember, reading labels, cooking smart, ordering wisely, and eating small portions are some ways to reduce foods that raise bad cholesterol levels.