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Understanding Food and Cholesterol

A high cholesterol level is a risk factor for developing heart disease and other conditions. What you eat has a big effect on your body’s cholesterol level. Eating certain foods can raise your cholesterol. Other foods can help you lower it. Watching what you eat can help you get your cholesterol level under control.

Fish, chicken, lettuce, broccoli, whole-grain bread, apples, bananas, orange, grapes, milk.

Know high cholesterol foods

Foods high in fat, cholesterol, or both:

  • Fatty beef, cold cuts, bacon, sausage

  • Creamy sauces and fatty gravies

  • Cookies, donuts, muffins, and pastries

  • Fried foods

  • Egg yolks

  • Shortening, butter, coconut oil, palm oil, hydrogenated oils (read labels)

  • High-fat dairy products, such as whole milk, cheese, and ice cream

Better choices:

  • Lean beef, skinless white-meat poultry, fish

  • Tomato sauce, vegetable puree

  • Dried fruit, bagels, bread with jam

  • Baked, broiled, steamed, or roasted foods

  • Egg whites or egg substitute

  • Tub margarine, canola oil, and olive oil in moderation

  • Low-fat or nonfat dairy products, such as 1% or fat-free milk, reduced-fat cheese, and nonfat frozen yogurt

Use fiber to help control cholesterol

Foods high in fiber can help you keep your cholesterol down. Good sources of fiber are:

  • Oats, barley

  • Whole grains

  • Beans

  • Vegetables

  • Cornmeal, popcorn

  • Berries, apples, other fruits

 

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