10 Foods Linked To High Cholesterol & 10 That Can Help Lower It

10 Foods Linked To High Cholesterol & 10 That Can Help Lower It

10 Foods Linked To High Cholesterol & 10 That Can Help Lower It

Heart health is an incredibly important thing to keep an eye on, meaning you should know which foods you're eating contribute to increasing the risk of heart disease. To give you the big picture, here are 10 foods linked to high cholesterol that you should be avoiding and 10 that can help you manage and lower it.

1. Red Meat

Perhaps it's a good thing that steak is considered a "treat yourself" meal, because eating it too often may pose some health risks. Red meat such as beef, pork, and lamb have been studied to contain high levels of both saturated fat and cholesterol - which is bad news for your heart! Frequent consumption can elevate the bad cholesterol levels in your bloodstream, increasing your risk of heart disease overall.

Jose-Ignacio-Pompe-S-Z-H0Feibm-Unsplash (2)Photo by José Ignacio Pompé on Unsplash

2. Butter

The next time you butter your bread, you might want to consider using less. Butter is rich in saturated fat, and when eaten in excess, can raise LDL cholesterol levels which are also known as "bad" cholesterol. That's why you should be careful about your intake and eat in moderation, especially if you use it frequently in cooking.

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3. Cheese

We're not saying you need to completely cut out cheese from your diet, but if you happen to have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, just be mindful of your intake. When it comes to cheeses like cheddar or cream cheese, it's their high levels of saturated fats that are causing increased levels of LDL cholesterol. And with it being linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, it's not something to ignore.

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4. Coconut Oil

Despite coconut oil often being labeled as a "heart-healthy" alternative to other fats, this actually isn't the case. Coconut oil is incredibly high in saturated fat, which we've already discussed can raise LDL cholesterol levels. So although you might be seeing otherwise online, just note you should use this oil more sparingly than what is being said. 

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5. Fried Foods

Friendly reminder that while fried foods are delicious and satisfying to eat, they're simply not healthy for you! Everything from fried chicken to French fries and doughnuts are typically fried in oils that are loaded to the max with trans fat and saturated fat. All it does is raise your LDL cholesterol levels while simultaneously lowering your good (HDL) cholesterol levels. 

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6. Sausages

Sadly, a lot of your favourite breakfast meats can be big contributors toward raising your bad cholesterol levels. High in both saturated fat and cholesterol, you're going to need to cut back on sausages if you want to watch your heart health. Not to mention, they often contain many additives and preservatives that may create other health issues. 

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7. Bacon

As we just mentioned, processed meats can be dangerous if you're looking to manage your cholesterol levels. We know imagining a breakfast without bacon can be tough, but just think about your heart! High in saturated fat and salt, regularly eating bacon has been associated with higher cholesterol levels, which in turn, also increases your risk of heart disease.

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8. Baked Goods

Many of the delicious baked goods you grab from the bakery section at your local supermarket are unfortunately not very good for you. These tasty pastries, muffins, and cakes may seem innocent, but they're loaded in trans fat and saturated fat from ingredients like shortening or maragarine. As a result, these high levels of fats translates to higher levels of LDL cholesterol too.

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9. Fast Food

Since many fast food items are also fried, you probably know where we're headed with this. Your favourite cheat meal items like burgers, tacos, and pizza are sadly big contributors of heart disease. If you eat fast food regularly, you're adding a lot of calories, fats, and cholesterol into your body, leading to increased LDL cholesterol levels and heart disease risk.

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10. Ice Cream

We've got some bad news for you - America's favourite cold, sweet treat is a big risk factor when it comes to cardiovascular disease. That's because these creamy desserts are loaded with sugar and saturated fat, meaning eating ice cream regularly contributes to high cholesterol levels and weight gain. 

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1. Oats

Containing a soluble fiber called beta-glucan which reduces the absorption of cholesterol in your bloodstream, oats are a great option to consider if you're looking for ways to improve cholesterol management. While swapping out your bacon and sausages for oats might not sound like the most appealing thing to do, it can significantly lower your LDL cholesterol levels.

Melissa-Di-Rocco-Capcnn41Fny-Unsplash (1)Photo by Melissa Di Rocco on Unsplash

2. Almonds

Almonds are a great snack for work, road trips, and plane rides - and now to make things even better, turns out they're great for lowering your bad cholesterol levels too! Rich in monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and fiber, these three things come together to help lower LDL levels. Just a handful of almonds a day can make good improvements!

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3. Avocado

While it's important that you still moderate your intake, it's good to know that avocado is an excellent fruit to add to your diet if you want to lower your LDL cholesterol levels. As an excellent source of monounsaturated fats and fiber, this is one easy and delicious way to improve your overall heart health.

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4. Salmon

Salmon has always been a great food to consume for heart health, meaning it's great for lowering your overall cholesterol levels too! This fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids which have the most amazing health benefits. It's recommended you eat salmon two or three times a week for effective management.

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5. Olive Oil

While you should be careful with coconut oil, you may be surprised to learn that olive oil is a part of a healthy diet. Loaded with monounsaturated fats that can lower LDL cholesterol without affecting HDL levels, using olive oil instead of other fats has been noted to help reduce the risk of heart disease. It's a simple change that can have great benefits!

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6. Eggplant

If you grew up hating eggplant as a kid because of its weird spongy texture, as an adult, we're telling you it's a good time to get over that. Because as it turns out, eggplant is high in fiber and contains a beneficial antioxidant called nasunin, both of which help reduce cholesterol levels. It's a great heart-healthy addition to any diet, so definitely consider it!

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7. Apples

You may have thought the phrase "an apple a day keeps the doctors away' was just a fun rhyme for kids, but turns out, there's some truth behind it. Apples are arguably the best fruit to eat regularly when it comes to managing cholesterol levels. It's because they contain soluble fibers that help lower it, while also containing antioxidants great for heart health. 

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8. Garlic

Garlic has always been renowned for its many health benefits, but in this scenario, we're going to highlight its power in helping lower cholesterol levels. It's been studied that consuming just one clove of garlic a day can reduce cholesterol levels by approximately 10%! That's pretty solid.

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9. Grapes

Grapes are called superfoods for a reason. Containing antioixdants like resveratrol, grapes (especially red and purple kinds) have been found to lower both LDL cholesterol levels and prevent clotting. Whether you have it in its natural form or as a juice, it can contribute to a healthy heart. It's a bonus that they taste so sweet and delicious too!

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10. Berries

If you're a big fruit lover, you're going to be happy to hear that berries of all sorts - strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries - are all packed with so many nutritional goodies like antioxidants, vitamins, and soluble fiber. This is one food you can eat on the regular without guilt - it'll help you reduce your bad cholesterol levels while promoting heart health.

Zoe-Schaeffer-Rln6Ghvjzro-Unsplash (1)Photo by Zoe Schaeffer on Unsplash