“I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I’ve eaten; even so, they have made me.” Ralph Waldo Emerson.
It’s safe to say we all agree, that food, a well-balanced diet is crucial to being healthy and happy. Sadly it isn’t given that much-deserved credit. One key component of good health is Cholesterol. It is an insoluble waxy substance that is produced in the liver and travels in the body through Lipoproteins, LDL(Bad cholesterol) and HDL (Good cholesterol). As is common knowledge high levels of cholesterol is bad news as they clog up the arteries and increase the risk of CVD (Cardio-Vascular diseases). So can we abandon it altogether? Absolutely not, it is required by the body to make hormones, help produce Vitamin D, aids digestion and absorption of nutrients and contributes to structure cell walls.
Today we are discussing what not to eat in order to maintain the optimum levels of cholesterol:
Fatty Meat: As we discussed our body is capable of making our own cholesterol and outside sources are required only for 25% so the trick is to curb them down. Cholesterol is present in animal and animal products including dairy. Animals make their own cholesterol hence the reason. So avoiding some and opting for lean cuts is how you will make the cut. Beef, Lamb, Pork, Sausage and in parts avoid Liver and Kidneys. Also, based on how it is prepared, the low-fat chicken can also amp up the cholesterol, so no deep fried chicken, no butter chicken.
Butter, Ghee, Margarine: I know these you can’t really eliminate from the diet completely, so limiting them is what we should do. The problem with them is that they are full of either Saturated fats or Trans-fats, making it a foe in your battle to maintain cholesterol levels.
Shellfish: Yes some fishes are great for high cholesterol like salmon, trout, sardines, and others, but the shellfishes aren’t so. An average serving of 15 shrimps has about 155 mg of cholesterol. Boiled mussels serving packs 48mg. Oh, the lobster 3 ounces and 61mg of cholesterol. 6 medium oysters and you gulp down 58mg of cholesterol. All this without the butter that makes it a delicacy and a cholesterol hazard.
Processed Foods: You knew this had to be on the list, really apart from tasting good; they do nothing for our health. We are talking about fats that are used, that shoot up the cholesterol. Burgers, French fries, those mouth-watering high in cheese dishes, yummy looking bakery products like cakes, muffins, Microwave Popcorn, all bad. The list includes ice creams as well. You may opt for some of them provided you choose healthier options.
Canola Oil, Coconut Oil, Palm Oil: During the process of manufacturing it increases their trans-fats and saturated fats content making it not so favourable to our predicament.
Basically, the idea is to replace saturated and trans-fats with unsaturated fats. For example, full cream milk with toned, sugary treats with dark chocolate. Boiled/Steamed instead of fried. ‘You are What You Eat’, is true but the complete phrase should include How much You eat as well. So as long as you go easy on yourself and some items, you may enjoy the above-said treats once a while and still be okay.