4 Vegetables That You Must Avoid If You Have High Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy-like fatty substance that is found in all of the cells of the body. It needs cholesterol to produce vitamin D, hormones and other substances to digest the food we eat. The body is capable of making enough cholesterol to perform all of these functions, however we add to it by the foods we eat. Unfortunately, that can lead to some health problems such as a build-up of cholesterol in the arteries and heart disease.
With that in mind, you should have your cholesterol checked every 5 years once you are over the age of twenty. A lipid profile is created through a blood test screening. Many doctors and cardiologists recommend that women over the age of 45 and men over the age of 35 be screened more often for any lipid disorders. A lipoprotein profile includes the following:
- Total Cholesterol
- HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein) Cholesterol level
- LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein) Cholesterol level
- Triglycerides (the level of fats carried in the blood from the food we eat)
Excess sugar, alcohol and calories are converted into triglycerides and stored in the fat cells throughout the body. You should know that when you look at the results of your cholesterol test, the numbers are not enough to predict your risk for heart disease or what you need to do to lower your risk of any health problems. Instead, they are part of a larger equation that includes blood pressure, if you smoke, age, and if you take any medication. Your doctor will evaluate all of this information to determine your risk for heart disease and if there are any concerns, a strategy should be developed to reduce that risk.
LDL cholesterol is known as the ‘bad’ cholesterol and builds up on the walls of the arteries, increasing your changes of developing heart disease. Basically, the lower the LDL cholesterol number is, the lower the risk is for heart disease. If LDL is 190 or more, it is considered quite high and you should consider ways to lower it. HDL is the ‘good’ cholesterol and protects you by taking the LDL (bad) cholesterol out of the blood and prevents it from building up in the arteries. Exercise is an excellent way to increase HDL cholesterol. Triglycerides are broken down in the following chart:
|Less than 150||Normal|
|150 – 199||Mildly High|
|200 – 499||High|
|500 or higher||Very high|
Now that you understand cholesterol levels a little more, there are 4 vegetables that should be avoided if you have high cholesterol. They include the following:
Dips made from vegetables such as sun-dried tomatoes, spinach or artichokes may sound healthy. However, they are full of high fat ingredients such as cream cheese, mayonnaise, and heavy cream. Plus, they are often topped with croutons, breadcrumbs or cheese. Salsa made with fresh tomatoes, onions, jalapenos or chilies is an excellent, healthy choice instead of a vegetable dip.
While eating fresh vegetables in their natural state or cooked, eating chips made from vegetables should be avoided if you have high cholesterol. Read the label’s ingredient list and usually the first ingredients are corn and potatoes, which is not much better than regular potato chips.
Vegetable Soup From A Can
You would think that food manufacturers are creating a product of good health with low-calorie, hearty vegetable soups. However, they contain all sorts of other ingredients that wreck havoc on your cholesterol levels including sodium, sugar, honey and sweeteners, both real and artificial that can add up to more than 15 grams of sugar per ½ cup serving. Avoid canned vegetable soup if you have high cholesterol. Cook them lightly in a stir-fry, in a fresh salad or in their natural state. Make your own vegetable soup from organic vegetables or from your own garden. Fresh vegetables will go a long way in lowering your LDL (bad) cholesterol and elevate the HDL (good) cholesterol.
Even though these may contain vegetables of some sort, any processed food such as crackers are typically loaded with unhealthy fats such as trans fats or hydrogenated oils. These fats are heated to such a high temperature that helps preserve the shelf life of the product but they do nothing for your shelf life. Avoid convenience foods of any kind when trying to lower your cholesterol. Opt for fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts for a healthy snack that will not elevate cholesterol.
It is possible to lower cholesterol naturally with healthy vegetables by enjoying them in their raw state, cooked lightly in a stir-fry or simply enjoyed in a fresh salad. Fresh vegetables can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and elevate HDL (good) cholesterol and promote healthy triglyceride levels in the blood. Here’s to healthy cholesterol levels.