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LDL Cholesterol is the name of bad cholesterol in foods. When you eat foods high in LDL Cholesterol, your body fat stores combine with it to clog your arteries. Over time, these blockages will create heart disease. Even if you’ve already been diagnosed with heart disease, reducing your LDL Cholesterol will help you. Read on to learn what to avoid in your eating habits!
MEATS: In general, red meats contain high levels of LDL cholesterol. Beef, lamb, pork and veal as well as organ meats such as liver, brains, tripe and kidneys all have this fat. Even less fatty proteins, such as poultry, some fish and shellfish contain LDL.
PROCESSED FOODS: Lunchmeats, sausage, hot dogs, deep-fried foods, fast food and many prepackaged foods all contain high levels of LDL Cholesterol.
SNACK FOODS: Commercially made foods such as cakes, cookies, pies, doughnuts, potato chips and pastries all contain a fat called trans fat. Trans fat does two bad things. First, it lowers the body’s good cholesterol. Second, trans fat raises the bad LDL cholesterol.
HDL Cholesterol is the type of good cholesterol in foods. HDL Cholesterol captures the bad LDL fats and basically evicts them from your body. That’s great news! If you eat foods which are high in HDL Cholesterol, your LDL Cholesterol floating around in your blood will decrease and your heart will thank you!
FISH: Fatty fish like tuna, salmon, mackerel and halibut contain a substance called omega-3 fatty acids, which raise your HDL levels.
SEEDS & NUTS: Pumpkin seeds, flax seeds and chia seeds all have omega-3 fatty acids. Almonds, walnuts and cashews have unsaturated fats, which fight LDL Cholesterol.
FRUIT, BEANS & WHOLE GRAIN: Apples, pears and prunes have high fiber. Any type of bean and whole grains such as oatmeal also are high in fiber, which combats LDL fats.
OIL: Olive oil is the best choice for cooking or for use in salad dressing.
HINT: Shop the outer edge of the store (produce, butcher, seafood, dairy) for healthier choices!