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Tastebuds know what they like, and those preferences tend to stay the same way all through life. Often the foods that please your tastebuds the most aren’t the healthiest for you, but that’s just the way it goes. No one is going to suggest you give them up, but as you get older it might be a good idea to eat less of them. Getting some cholesterol from the foods you eat is entirely necessary as cholesterol is a contributor to effective digestion and absorption of nutrients from food. But too much cholesterol can block arteries, and that can spell trouble. So, what foods cause high cholesterol?
Cholesterol is also needed to have healthy cell membranes throughout your body, and it’s also involved in the production of testosterone for men and estrogen for women. The next thing that’s helpful for people to understand around what foods cause high cholesterol is that there isn’t just one type of it. There’s 2 – HDL cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. People are always encouraged not to be overly judgmental, but with cholesterol we can go right ahead and label HDL as BAD and LDL as GOOD. Looking at what foods cause high cholesterol we can shift that focus to foods high in LDL cholesterol.
We’ll explain why that is, along with how LDL cholesterol is harmful. There’s also more to understand about why your body needs cholesterol, but we’ll leave that alone for now and focus here on what foods cause high cholesterol.
Sunny side up, scrambled, or over easy, many people enjoy having eggs as part of a nutritious breakfast. Eggs are very high in cholesterol, but you don’t need to fret if they’re a part of your breakfast most days of the week. Eggs may be loaded with cholesterol but it’s HDL cholesterol and not LDL. So go ahead and enjoy them along with all the Vitamin A, selenium, and Vitamin B you get from them too. Cheese is also something no one should have to go without, and cheese is on the good cholesterol side of the fence too.
Foods on the other side of it will be fuller of LDL cholesterol than HDL, and the reason LDL cholesterol is harmful is because it promotes plaque buildup in the arteries, and when there’s an excess of it taken in via your diet then over time you start to have more and more plaque and that creates the risk of a blockage. Other poor health factors can play a role too, and many times people who aren’t able to reduce their cholesterol intake need to use cholesterol lowering medications.
Steak is one type of food that can go either way here. Beef tends to be high in LDL cholesterol, but much less so if it is grass fed beef. Beef that comes from cows raised in pastures rather than feedlots is much lower in LDL cholesterol and has more in the way of omega-3 fatty acids. There are other ‘good’ cholesterol foods we can list here as part of what foods cause high cholesterol but considering we’re looking at this from the risk of artery blockage angle we will get right to listing the foods you should avoid.
Trans fats are absolutely terrible for you, but the reality is they’re found in abundance in the fried foods that so many people find so satisfying to eat. Humans have a biological hardwiring to crave fats, but getting it from hamburgers and fries like so many do so often isn’t a good thing. Failing to put up any resistance to those cravings and eating a lot of fried and fast food may lead you to have problems from high cholesterol.
For more on what foods cause high cholesterol – and HDL cholesterol specifically – we have this list here:
Anyone who is interested in learning more about what foods are high in cholesterol related to their own dietary needs may want to speak to a nutritionist or dietician.
And then on the flip side of what foods cause high cholesterol is another consideration - foods that can lower cholesterol, including:
Knowing of diet choices that can counter what foods cause high cholesterol and eating more of those foods many be an added benefit for people who know they are getting too much of it from what they eat.