Having a high level of cholesterol in your body can prove to be a dangerous thing for your heart health in the long run. Having high cholesterol is usually a precursor to heart attacks and is considered to be an effective warning sign for the same. While an increased amount of cholesterol can come from your food and general lifestyle habits, it can also come through the hereditary way. While there is not much which can be done in the case of the latter, you can try to keep it at a minimum through constant monitoring of your blood pressure through the means of certain healthcare devices such as a digital blood pressure monitor and a LCD sphygmomanometer on a day to day basis.
You can also turn towards healthier eating options based on the advice of your doctor. But there are some general foods which are common ingredients in our meals but can prove to be dangerous for those suffering from a high cholesterol problem. In this article, we have curated a list of all the foods which you should avoid if you are more susceptible to suffering from such a problem. Not only that, we have also provided some alternatives to incorporate in your diet which will not change the taste of your food but make it a lot healthier. Read on to know all about these.
- An Excessive Amount Of Salt:
Using a lot of salt in your meals on a daily basis has been linked to a spike in the body’s cholesterol levels. While we understand that the typical Indian taste buds favour salty foods, using salt is not the only way to incorporate this flavour in your food. Instead of that, you can use natural elements which can provide the same level of saltiness like vinegar. When you already have an existing condition of high cholesterol levels, it is important to make it a habit of looking at labels of all the food which you eat, including the ingredients which you use to make your food.
- Too Much Sugar:
On the other end of the flavour spectrum, too much sugar is also not considered to be good for your cholesterol levels. Even if you cut out desserts and other sugary substances from your diet, sometimes you inadvertently end up taking in a lot more sugar through the beverages which you drink throughout the day. You can make a conscious decision to use natural sweeteners like fruits in smoothies or juices, or even alternatives like stevia in your warm beverages. Another great way to cut sugar from your diet is to make a habit of drinking fruit juices instead of aerated drinks on a regular basis.
- Foods Containing Chocolate:
If you are one of those people who love to eat a lot of chocolate but are susceptible to cholesterol related problems, we have bad news for you. Chocolate is known to aggravate this health problem even more. If you absolutely can not give up on eating chocolates completely, try to opt for eating dark chocolate instead as it contains a good amount of flavonoids. These are proven to be really good for the heart in the long run. It is also important to remember that whatever you eat, it should be in moderation and you should never go completely overboard while indulging in it.
- Non Vegetarian Foods:
If you follow a non vegetarian diet which contains a lot of red meat, chances are that your cholesterol will take a hit in such a case. You can either switch to eating plant based alternatives to get your regular dose of protein and indulge in non vegetarian food once in a while, or if your problem is quite serious, you can think about shifting to a vegetarian diet completely. It has been proven by research that people who gave up eating meat had a much healthier heart in the long run as compared to people who did not do that.
- Products Containing Eggs:
Elaborating on the last point, eggs can also harm your heart and make your cholesterol much worse than before. While we agree that eating eggs is healthy for a disease free person, if you suffer from certain heart related issues, it can prove to be troublesome for you in the long run. A good way to counter this hurdle is to limit your intake of eggs. If you have a habit of eating them regularly, you can slowly cut them out of your diet or reduce your frequency of eating them.
- Limit Oily Junk Food:
It is no surprise that this point makes it into the list of harmful foods. While oily junk food is not good for anyone in general, it is especially dangerous for people who have some or the other pre-existing heart condition. Many people eat these as they have cravings when they are hungry. A good way to combat this problem is to snack on fresh fruits and make salads out of leafy green vegetables in between major meals. This can keep your stomach full with healthy food and the chances of craving junk food will ultimately be lessened as a result of it as well.
- Sandwich Toppings:
Normally used sandwich toppings such as mayonnaise and cheese are not only unhealthy but can also spell trouble for your heart and your cholesterol levels. These are also usually used as dips which can make you have a lot more of them than you realise. A good way to break this habit is to choose healthier options like avocados and hummus as toppings and dips. These are rich in certain nutrients and do not just provide empty calories like other toppings do. Plus they are good for your heart health.
Having a high cholesterol level for a long time can be really detrimental for your heart health so it is important to control it well whilst you can. Now that you know how harmful some of these common ingredients can be for your cholesterol, switch them out for healthier alternatives which have been mentioned above. Also, do not forget to share this article with people in your circle who struggle to manage their cholesterol levels.