If you have high cholesterol, your doctor has probably already told you certain foods should be avoided and you need to pursue a healthy diet. If you eat foods that have high saturated fat content, you are going to increase your cholesterol levels instead of getting them under control like you should be doing.
So, does that mean that you need to eliminate foods like dairy, eggs, and meat from your diet or are they okay? This is one of the most common questions we get about high cholesterol because people really love these staples. However, if you are going to decrease your cholesterol to a safe level, then you have to make some concessions.
Let’s look at how meat, eggs, and dairy affect your cholesterol levels so you have a better understanding of where they belong in your diet.
You’ll only find cholesterol in animal products. That means meat, eggs, and dairy are pretty much your only source of cholesterol outside your own body. Your body makes up the majority of the cholesterol itself, but about 25% comes from the foods you consume, so you have a lot of control over your cholesterol levels just through diet.
Any animal product is going to naturally contain cholesterol, so if you are trying to control your high cholesterol and become healthier, you have to limit how much of those foods you eat and how often you eat them. You also have to watch out for foods that are high in trans fat and saturated fat, which these foods tend to be.
You can find some dairy products and meat products that have a lot of fat skimmed off or that are healthier for you than others. For instance, chicken is a fairly lean meat that has little fat. It’s a lot healthier than beef, pork, and lamb, especially for people with high cholesterol. When it comes to dairy products, you can look for skim or fat-free versions of whatever dairy products love. The flavor tends to be about the same, and you’ll be making good progress toward controlling your cholesterol if you make that substitution every time.
There are also foods that you can eat instead of meat, dairy and eggs that have similar tastes, textures or nutrients. There are numerous alternatives to meat which can be beneficial for those on a lower cholesterol diet. They have a similar texture, and you can flavor them to give you a taste that’s approximate to meat.
You can also try soy products that are designed for a low cholesterol diet. Not all soy products are going to be beneficial for your dieting efforts, so pay attention to the nutritional information and choose the right kinds to take the place of meats and dairy products.
As for eggs, you don’t want to eliminate them entirely from your diet. If you do, you could be at greater risk for high cholesterol. Yes, eggs do contain cholesterol, but it isn’t dangerous to you, so long as you eat them in moderation. About four to six eggs a week is just fine for people with high cholesterol to consume. You can enjoy some health benefits from this animal product, so long as you are careful about how much you are eating.
That can apply to any of these high cholesterol foods we mentioned. If you just eat them sparingly and make sure that your diet contains plenty of low cholesterol foods, you should be okay.
You should also be exercising to fight the cholesterol. If you combine a regular exercise regime with a healthy diet, you can tackle your cholesterol faster than you would with any other method. It’s also important to have regular consultations with your doctor, as they can advise if any medication for high cholesterol is required in your situation. By eating the right diet, getting regular exercise and following medical advice you can lower your cholesterol levels and live a healthier life.
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Editor’s note: This article is presented for informational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness. If you have any health concern, see a licensed healthcare professional in person.
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