Cholesterol is a substance produced in all of us that is necessary for us to live, but having too much cholesterol can be very dangerous, and one of the most common health risk in the United States is high cholesterol. Staring a cholesterol diet that will reduce the amount of this substance in the body is very beneficial and often necessary for optimal health. However, in order to understand what makes up a healthy cholesterol diet, one must first understand what cholesterol is and how it can benefit the body as well as what happens when there is too much cholesterol, and the health risks associated with it.
What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is both a steroid produced in the body and fat. The liver or the intestines produce cholesterol to aid in the production of cell membranes and hormones. Some cholesterol is required in order to create the proper structure of cell membranes, and it also assists in the manufacture of bile, an acid which helps to digest food, and several other uses. So, even though we cannot live without a certain amount of cholesterol in our bodies, it has been shown in studies for decades that an overabundance of cholesterol can damage arteries and causes heart disease. That is why a diet that allows you to lower your cholesterol levels is very important.
Foods That Raise Your Cholesterol Levels
There are certain foods that you can eat that will raise your cholesterol levels. These foods should be avoided if you are already suffering from high cholesterol levels, or at least cut back to a much lower amount. However, while you should know what foods can raise your cholesterol levels it is important to note that you should consult your doctor before beginning any diet or exercise plan, and especially one designed to lower your cholesterol. You can do serious damage by following the wrong kind of diet so ask your doctor first.
If you wanted to raise your cholesterol levels, you could start with a delicious breakfast. Eating a breakfast of eggs, sausage, bacon and toast with butter, you will certainly raise the cholesterol levels in your body. While it was previously believed that eggs alone caused cholesterol levels to jump up, that has been proven not to be the case. In fact, it is the fatty meats like sausage and bacon and butter that cause higher cholesterol levels. It is however, recommended that you don’t eat more than one egg per day, or seven eggs total in a week.
Other foods that can raise your cholesterol levels include just about any type of snack that you would find in the potato chip aisle of your local grocery store, including of course, potato chips themselves. Dairy products can also cause problems if not eaten in moderation. Full fat cheese, sour cream and whole milk all raise cholesterol levels. Another food that will cause increased levels of cholesterol is ice cream, and a great deal of it could cause serious problems as it turns into a substance that could clog your arteries within a few hours.
Foods That Lower Your Cholesterol
Some foods actually help to control the amount of cholesterol in the body so that you can have a healthy amount of it. They include fatty fish and oatmeal as well as oat bran and walnuts. Adding these foods to a medication that you doctor has prescribed to lower your cholesterol can certainly be helpful, but again, consult your doctor first before adding them to your diet to make sure that you don’t decrease levels too much.