High cholesterol: the 5 eating habits that trigger it

By now we all know that high cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease – the most common cause of death in the U.S., in addition to strokes that are considered the fourth leading cause of death in the nation. among adults. Also, the data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not lie: Unfortunately, approximately 93 million American adults have high cholesterol. Experts note that the scariest part of high cholesterol is that it has no symptoms, which is why many people often find out until they have a blood test. That is why one of the main preventive measures is to make adjustments in lifestyle and eating habits. The reality is that on many occasions we are not aware of the impact that our daily decisions have, that is why we select the 5 worst eating habits that according to experts are active triggers for high cholesterol.

The 5 worst eating habits that raise cholesterol:

1. Not eating enough fiber

We all know that fiber is one of the most important nutrients for digestive health, in addition to significantly influencing a healthy body weight and, if that were not enough, it is a determining factor in cardiovascular health. In fact, various scientific studies have confirmed that A diet low in fiber-rich foods, in the long term, is associated with high cholesterol levels. In particular, the fiber found in plant-based foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes is associated with a reduction in LDL cholesterol, which is considered bad cholesterol because it tends to promote inflammation and plaque buildup in the arteries. What’s more, soluble fiber found in foods like oats, apples, flaxseed, and legumes, is especially beneficial for lowering bad cholesterol.

Fiber rich foods. / Photo: Shutterstock

2. A high intake of refined carbohydrates

It is no secret to talk about the serious consequences of a high consumption of processed foods, which are often distinguished not only by their high caloric value: They are rich in refined carbohydrates, sodium, added sugars and all kinds of preservatives. Among the most worrisome that directly influence high cholesterol and cardiovascular health are soft drinks, white bread and the consumption of all kinds of refined carbohydrates. In fact, various studies have found that when saturated fats are replaced with refined carbohydrates like sugar, cholesterol ratios tend to worsen, which means that good cholesterol goes down and bad cholesterol goes up. On the contrary, the consumption of complex carbohydrates is recommended, such as those found in whole grains, legumes, seeds, fruit and vegetables.

Refined carbohydrates. / Photo: Lisa Fotios / Pexels

3. Follow a diet rich in animal products

Today, low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets have become a very popular trend. However, according to experts in the long run, this way of eating can have some unfavorable side effects when it comes to cholesterol. SEating a ketogenic diet that is poorly planned or if you are constantly hungry as a result of decreased carbohydrate intake can lead to high fat intake. And the problem comes when it comes to saturated fats, which are well known to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. In addition, in general a high consumption of products of animal origin such as red and processed meats has been associated for years with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.

hot dog
Hot dog. / Photo: Pixabay

4. Cooking everyday meals with butter

Let’s be honest, butter is delicious and adds a unique flavor to certain dishes. And on special occasions, it’s okay to enjoy it in measure. However, use it on a daily basis as a cooking fat, for example: in steamed vegetables or to cook certain proteins such as steak, chicken or a slice of salmon, it is a trigger for high cholesterol levels. The best recommendation is to bet on the use of vegetable oils for cooking, such is the case of the wonderful extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil or safflower oil, which can significantly reduce total and LDL cholesterol. In addition, they are healthy fats rich in omega-3s that have cardioprotective properties.

Thanksgiving mashed potatoes
Buttered mashed potatoes. / Photo: Shutterstock

5. Follow a diet rich in trans fats

The guidelines for the food industry are becoming stricter every day and fortunately recently it was required that food manufacturers eliminate trans fats from their recipes. However, these types of fats, which are so harmful to the body, are still present in the diet, in fact they are still used in some restaurants to fry food, and consuming them can cause bad cholesterol levels to skyrocket. Trans fats are found in ‘partially hydrogenated oils’ and the reality is that they are pure poison for cardiovascular health. The main reason is that They tend to lodge in the arteries and with this they not only increase cholesterol, they are the cause of various cardiovascular conditions.

Fried chicken
Fried chicken. / Photo: Shutterstock

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