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All You Need to Know About Cholesterol | List of foods for cholesterol patients

Updated on January 1, 2015

What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol may be considered as a type of lipid (fat) produced in our body. Cholesterol is found in foods of animal origin (meat, whole milk, eggs etc..). In our body, cholesterol performs essential functions, such as hormone production and vitamin D . However, excessive blood cholesterol is harmful and increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease . In our blood, there are two types of cholesterol:

• LDL cholesterol: known as "bad", it can be deposited in the arteries and cause blockage
HDL cholesterol: known as "good", remove excess cholesterol out of the arteries, preventing their deposition and decreasing the formation of fat.


We can say that there are several types of cholesterol circulating in the blood. The sum total of all of them is called "Total Cholesterol". As seen, cholesterol is a kind of "blood fat" and as fats do not mix with liquids, cholesterol is insoluble in blood. Therefore, cholesterol need certain proteins to fulfill their functions.

The association between protein and cholesterol gives rise to so-called lipoproteins. These are able to travel throughout the body via the bloodstream.Lipoproteins - or just cholesterol is being divided into "good" cholesterol (HDL - high density ) and "bad" cholesterol (LDL - low density).

Researches proves that the good cholesterol (HDL) removes cholesterol from cells. It is therefore beneficial. The bad cholesterol (LDL) does the reverse: it helps cholesterol to enter cells, causing the excess accumulated in the arteries in the form of fat deposits.

Risk Factors

Many factors can contribute to increased cholesterol, as genetic or hereditary tendencies, obesity and reduced physical activity. However, the most common factor is the diet .
The high-cholesterol diet includes large amounts of animal otigin foods: oils, skimmed milk and eggs. Fat, especially saturated, contribute to the problem of high cholesterol.
The saturated fat is one type of fat which when ingested increases the amount of cholesterol in the body. It is present mainly in foods from animal sources.The red meat has cholesterol molecules between the fibers and should be avoided. The light margarine should be chosen to replace the butter.

Unsaturated fats are present mainly in foods of plant origin. They are essential to the body, but the human body can not afford to produce them. That is why it is necessary to consume them in food. The substitution of saturated fats with unsaturated fats in the diet can help reduce blood cholesterol.

Symptoms and Diagnosis of Cholesterol

High cholesterol has no symptoms, so those with atherosclerosis and obesity , has a history of death from heart attacks in the family,consumes saturated fat moer often is likely to have high cholesterol. Atherosclerosis does not produce any symptoms until the obstruction of one or more arteries occurs.

The optimal levels of blood cholesterol should be:

  • High-risk patients: LDL below 70 mg / dL
  • Intermediate risk patients: LDL below 100 mg / dL
  • Low-risk patients should have their cholesterol limits individualized by the physician.These are high-risk conditions:
  • Atherosclerotic coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular or peripheral occlusive, with clinical manifestations (CV events).
  • Ateroclerose in subclinical significantly documented by diagnostic methodology.
  • Arterial revascularization procedures.
  • Diabetes type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
  • Chronic kidney disease.
  • Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH).

Low risk are considered as those with less than 5% to make major cardiovascular diseases (coronary heart disease, stroke, peripheral arterial disease or heart failure) in 10 years probability. Patients classified in this category and that have a family history of premature cardiovascular disease will be reclassified to intermediate risk.
Intermediate risk is considered as men with calculated risk between 5% and 20% and women with risk estimated between 5% and 10% of the occurrence of any of the events mentioned.
High risk ones should have probability of a cardiovascular event over 20% for men and above 10% for women in the period of 10 years.
Intermediate risk individuals should use the following factors, which when present (at least one of these) reclassify for high-risk condition:

  • Family history of premature coronary artery disease (relative to male with less than 55 years and females under 65 years)
  • Criteria for metabolic syndrome according to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF)
  • Microalbuminuria (30-300 mg / min) or macroalbuminuria (> 300 mg / min)
  • Left Ventricular Hypertrophy
  • C-Reactive Protein-high sensitivity above 2 mg / dL
  • Thickness of carotid above 100
  • Coronary calcium score above 100
  • Ankle-brachial index (ABI) below 0.9.

There are medications to control high cholesterol and atherosclerosis but only improves with a more significant change in lifestyle. Reduce stress, exercise, keep blood pressure stable and maintain normal weight are fundamental remedies to control cholesterol. People who have diabetes should be more attentive.

Possible complications

High cholesterol levels are associated with coronary heart disease and atherosclerosis. The usual recommendations are for a daily intake of less than 300 mg cholesterol.

• Atherosclerosis
It is the stiffening of the vessel wall caused by deposits of fat and cholesterol. There is a genetic predisposition, combined with smoking, stress, sedentary lifestyle and high blood pressure, can lead to disease.


In addition to a balanced diet, there are other ways to avoid cholesterol and even reduce it:

• Doing physical exercises: physical activity can help slim down and reduce tensions.Control weight,by doing exercise or playing sports, you feel better and it reduces the risk of myocardial infarction and cholesterol levels in the blood
• Quit smoking: cigarette smoking is a risk factor for coronary disease. Allied to cholesterol, multiplies the risks
• Avoid stress : a less stressful life also decreases the risk of heart attack and lowering cholesterol. Transform daily activities into something that gives you satisfaction
• Making a diet with low levels of fat and cholesterol.

Remember that all animal foods have cholesterol. So, give preference to plant foods: fruits, vegetables and grains. Suggested habits to those who has high cholesterol

• Eat more fruits and vegetables
• Eat more broiled meat and less fried meats
• Eat a variety of foods rich in fiber such as oatmeal, whole grain breads and apples. Fiber helps to reduce cholesterol levels
• Limit your intake of saturated fat such as milk
• Limit foods high in cholesterol such as egg yolk and liver
• Use derivatives less fat such as skim milk, nonfat yogurt or light ice creams
• Avoid fried foods.

People with diabetics should take more nutritional care since they have chance of atherosclerosis three to four times higher than non-diabetic people. There are foods that help reduce cholesterol levels in the blood, and there are also those that should be avoided. To do this, pay attention to the two lists below:

Foods high in cholesterol:
• Bacon
• Chantilly
• Fish eggs
• Butter cookies
• Creamy Candy
• Poultry skin
• Shrimp
• Yellow Cheese
• Red meat
• Egg yolk
• Ice cream
• Cream
• Lobster

Foods that help lower cholesterol:
• Celery
• Brussels Sprout
• Pulp of orange
• Black plum
• Cauliflower
• Papaya
• Mulberry
• Cassava
• Olive oil
• Pea
• Whole wheat bread
• Oatmeal
• Oat Bran
• Pear
• Carrot
• Wheat bran
• Peach
• Whole Grains
• Bean
• Okra
• Barley
• Fig
• Leafy vegetables.

Okay, you already know what is cholesterol and how to avoid it. The next time you do your shopping, opt for foods that can help lower cholesterol and think twice before skipping gym.


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    • healthcarepro profile image

      healthcarepro 3 years ago from Somewhere on Earth

      Thank you for your appreciation.. I am currently working on a hub on how to increase good cholesterol.. Nuts, olive oil, sea foods, orange juice etc contribute to good cholesterol.. Even moderate drinking can increase good cholesterol which I do not encourage though..

    • C V Singh profile image

      C V Singh 3 years ago

      Hub with richness of information to heart patients. Its appreciable that you are spreading the information related to health problems. May I request you to suggest ways to improve good cholesterol preferably using good food materials.

    • healthcarepro profile image

      healthcarepro 3 years ago from Somewhere on Earth

      Glad you liked it. I ll try to write more on the topic. :)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      What a great post on this topic. You covered all the essentials on this important health issue. I must say though that the photo of the fried chicken is tempting!