How and Why Should I Maintain a Low Cholesterol Diet?
It’s important to maintain your cholesterol at a healthy level. Too much cholesterol can lead to a variety of health problems, and a low cholesterol diet is the most important tool that you have to prevent them.
What are the Dangers of High Cholesterol?
Heart attacks and strokes are among the leading causes of death in the developed world, and having a high cholesterol level greatly increases the danger. While a body does need some cholesterol to be healthy, any excess cholesterol in the body will cause plaque to build up in the body’s blood vessels. The blood vessels will eventually clog, which can prevent blood from flowing properly. That reduced blood flow can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and a variety of related diseases.
How do I Maintain a Low Cholesterol Diet?
The simplest way to maintain a low cholesterol diet is to reduce your consumption of fatty meat and dairy products. Highly-processed foods such as hot dogs tend to be particularly high in cholesterol and should be avoided wherever possible.
When choosing meat, poultry products and fish tend to have lower cholesterol levels than red meats such as ham and beef. Preserved meats, such as bacon, are usually worse than fresh meats. Choose lean cuts that have very little fat.
Eggs and Dairy
Other animal products can also be significant sources of cholesterol. Egg whites contain significantly less cholesterol than egg yolks, and a substitution of a larger quantity of white in place of yolk is possible in many recipes. Low-fat dairy products have less cholesterol than other options and should be chosen over alternatives. Be careful when choosing cheeses, because the cholesterol content can vary widely between different varieties. When in doubt, choose the least processed option.
Fruits and Vegetables
Very few fruits and vegetables are significant sources of cholesterol. Vegetables that have been cooked in fat or butter are a notable exception and should be consumed only in moderation.
Oil can have a lot of cholesterol in it, and it should only be consumed in moderation. Corn, sunflower, olive, and canola oils are the best choices for maintaining a low cholesterol diet. Animal fats and oils, such as lard, have much more cholesterol and should be avoided.
Most bread has a low cholesterol content. However, pastries and other breads that include eggs can be an exception. Check the nutritional information carefully before you choose a bread product.