If you love munching on packaged potato chips while you work, or if bacon is a regular part of your breakfast, you should know that you are at a high risk of having high cholesterol levels. High-cholesterol levels, specifically high LDL cholesterol levels, are the main cause of cardiovascular diseases. An increased consumption of unhealthy fatty foods and junk foods lead to more causes of obesity and cardiac problems. If you want a healthy life and a healthy heart, avoid a high-cholesterol diet. Here are a few foods that should be avoided to ensure your cholesterol levels are within the normal range.
- Packaged foods: Packaged foods such as fries, potato chips, and crackers are often consumed as snacking substitutes. When hunger pangs strike, it is quite convenient and easy to reach out for a packet of potato chips. The high-salt content of these packaged foods also makes you crave more for them. These fried and packaged foods contain high levels of saturated fats. These are unhealthy fats that increase the levels of cholesterol in the body. Packaged foods, which often are a part of a high-cholesterol diet, are also high in calories and are one of the main causes of obesity and heart problems.
- Processed meats: Meat that has been processed to extend its shelf life is unhealthy. A high-cholesterol diet is incomplete without processed meat products. Smoked, salted, and cured meat such as bacon, sausage, and sliced ham are few examples of processed meats. The fats in processed meat are saturated fats, which are high in calories. You may like to eat bacon regularly in your breakfast, but it will severely affect your cholesterol levels. You will be at an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. Salami, bologna, and hot dogs also contain high amounts of unhealthy cholesterol. Cut back on the pan-fried processed meats to control your cholesterol levels.
- Foods containing processed sugar: Processed and added sugar are one of the main causes of a number of chronic diseases, obesity, and cardiovascular problems. This is because added sugar increases the levels of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol). Added sugar also reduces the level of HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol). Packaged foods and baked goods, such as candies, muffins, cakes, cookies, and pastries, are high in added sugar. If you tend to gorge on these foods, it is best you cut back on them as soon as possible. Energy drinks, soda, and packages juices also increase the level of cholesterol in the body.
- Processed vegetable-based oils: Processed vegetable oils such as canola oil have high levels of trans fats. This is especially true for hydrogenated vegetable oils. These fats increase the level of LDL cholesterol and decrease the level of HDL cholesterol in the body. The fatty acids contained in these oils also increase the ratio of LDL-to-HDL cholesterol, which leads to a number of chronic lifestyle diseases, such as high blood pressure, artery blockages, high cholesterol, and so on. Soy oil, safflower oil, and corn oil also lead to high levels of cholesterol.
- Refined grain foods: Refined grains contain carbohydrates with a high-glycemic index. Eating too much of foods made from refined grains increases the level of bad cholesterol in the body. The levels of HDL or good cholesterol is also negatively affected. This increases the risk of cholesterol-induced health problems. Reduce the consumption of pasta, bagels, tortillas, and white bread to cut back on the consumption of too much bad cholesterol in your diet. These are made from refined grains and contain high amounts of refined carbohydrates.