Cholesterol is absolutely necessary for your body to work properly. Technically it is a steroid lipid another name for a fat, found in the blood of all animals and assists the proper functioning of our cell membranes and production of hormones. Our bodies already manufacture all the cholesterol needed, so you should take measures not to consume an excess from eating the wrong foods.
Excessive intake of cholesterol has been shown to increase the risk of stroke and heart disease. Importantly cholesterol is only found in animal food products, and so, vegans are unlikely suffer in the same way. The current daily value (DV) for cholesterol is 300mg.
By cooking using a Halogen oven, you will see the fats drip out of cooking meats, also the Halogen method uses the least amount of added oils or fats to cook properly. By knowing which foods are particularly high in cholesterol and introducing some cholesterol lowering foods into your diet I hope you will see long term benefits. Below are the top ten good and bad cholesterol foods:-
Foods to avoid
When I say avoid, there are of course, no bad foods, just dont go overboard, especially with these foods as they are the highest in cholesterol value. Its something to bear in mind when planning a menu.
1: Eggs , actually the Yolk, which has 1234mg per 100gram serving ! That’s 411% of the max you should allow yourself. Don’t take it the wrong way, just don’t eat an eggy breakfast every day!
2: Caviar (Fish Roe) and Liver, Liver Pate and Foie Gras
An unlikely big constituent of most peoples diet in the Uk, I know, but as these are packed with 588mg per 100g serving, its here for information only. It is a common spread for bread in Eastern Europe.
Common in cakes, cookies, on bread, and vegetables, butter is everywhere. 100 grams of butter packs 215mg (72% DV) of cholesterol,
5: Shrimp Prawns or Camarones
100 grams of shrimp has about 195mg (65% DV) of cholesterol.
6: Fast Breakfast Foods
A ham, egg, and cheese biscuit has 172mg (57% DV) per 100g serving, or 246mg (82% DV) of cholesterol per biscuit. An egg and sausage biscuit has even more with 261mg (87% DV).
7: Oil Packed Fish
Although thought to be good for your heart, the oil of fish, and oil packed fish, does contain quite a bit of cholesterol. Oil packed Atlantic Sardines carry 142mg (47% DV) of cholesterol per 100g.
A good source of protein for vegetarians and also a good source of calcium, cheese is a tasty addition to most any dish. But it can have over 100mg per serving, Port de Salut for example contains the most cholesterol with 123mg (41% DV) per 100 gram serving. That is 21mg (7% DV) per one inch cube. Other cheeses high in cholesterol include: Gouda (38%), Cream Cheese (37% DV), Gruyere (37%), and Cheddar (35% DV).
9: Processed Meats like Sausage, Lamb or Duck
The amount of cholesterol in any processed meat depends on the cut used, and the amount of fat added during processing. Liver sausage and bratwurst will contain around 158mg (50% DV) of cholesterol per 100 gram serving.
Good Cholesterol Foods
Cholesterol lowering foods can be incorporated into everyone’s diet for good health. The percentages given below are only a guide and reflect the reduction in someone suffering from very high cholesterol ( hypercholesterolemia )
1: Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated Fats (Olive Oil, Canola Oil, Peanut Oil, Peanuts, Olives, Avocados)
Try to substitute saturated animal fats and other high cholesterol foods with healthier fats like olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, and avocados. This is the best thing you can do to achieve a large reduction in your LDL cholesterol.
2: Bran (Oat, Rice)
Bran, particularly oat bran, has been proven effective in lowering LDL cholesterol levels. Add bran to hot cereals and bread. Also, eating whole oatmeal every morning, or switching to whole products like brown rice, can help you get more bran in your diet and lower your cholesterol numbers.
3: Flax Seeds
Up to 50 grams of flax seeds a day has been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol in healthy young adults by up to 8%. Flax seeds are easily incorporated in baked goods, as well as added to hot cereals like oatmeal.
Less than half a clove (900mg) of raw garlic a day can lower cholesterol by 9-12%. Raw garlic is the most effective and can be added to olive oil salad dressings, or as a garnish on soups and sandwiches.
A cup of almonds can reduce cholesterol levels by up to 10%. Almonds are great as a snack, or as an addition to breakfast cereals like oatmeal.
6: Lycopene Foods
Lycopene is found in tomatoes, watermelon, and some other usually red coloured foods. Although studies have not proven the LDL cholesterol link, it has been shown that it does promote good heart health.
7: Walnuts and Pistachios
Substitute Walnuts or pistachios for other high fat foods and gain a significant reduction in cholesterol.
8: Whole Barley
Like the bran from oats and rice, barley reduces cholesterol. Substitute barley for wheat products.Barley can easily substitute for wheat in the form of barley noodles, barley flour, or whole pearl barley.
9: Dark Chocolate and Plant Sterols
Yes! Chocolate ! The plant sterols and cocoa flavanols in dark non-milk chocolate have been shown to reduce cholesterol by 2-5%. Further, plant sterols, found in all plants, and particularly plant oils like corn oil and soybean oil have been shown to lower LDL cholesterol by up to 16%. Note that this reduction is mainly due to inhibiting absorption of cholesterol, and would not have a large effect if you consumed little or no cholesterol.
10: Green Tea
Studies have backed up the old East Asian belief that Green tea washes oil (fat) out of the body. Green tea can lower cholesterol by 2-5%. Green tea without sugar also has fewer than 10 calories.