High cholesterol diet: see what to eat and what to avoid

High cholesterol is a problem that, if left untreated, can lead to several health complications. Therefore, when identifying the condition, along with the medical guidelines, it is necessary to pay attention to food.

Know some suggestions of what is allowed and what should be avoided to control cholesterol rates:


What is the relationship between high cholesterol and diet?

Cholesterol is a type of fat, which is essential for the formation of cell membranes and some hormones in the body.

It is worth mentioning that there are two types of cholesterol – low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which is often known as “bad cholesterol”. And when it is very high it can accumulate on the walls of the arteries, causing various problems such as heart attacks or strokes.

High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is popularly known as “good cholesterol”. And it helps to return LDL cholesterol to the liver to be removed from the body via feces. Therefore, it is important that both are in balance in the body to avoid health complications.

One way to achieve this balance is through diet, choosing food appropriately. Some may provide soluble fiber, which helps to eliminate excess cholesterol from the body before it enters the circulation.

Others provide polyunsaturated fats, which directly reduces LDL. And there are still foods that block the absorption of cholesterol by the body.

Therefore, those diagnosed with high cholesterol often need to make changes in their diet.

Studies show that regular consumption of soluble fiber is associated with a 5% to 10% reduction in total cholesterol and “bad” cholesterol in about four weeks.

And the recommendation is to consume 5g to 10g of soluble fibers a day to reduce it.

This need not be difficult, as research indicates that adults who consume at least four servings of fruits and vegetables a day have LDL cholesterol levels about 6% lower.

Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention to what is consumed and make changes in the diet, if necessary.

What foods cannot be eaten by people with high cholesterol?

Those who have high cholesterol, that is, equal to or higher than 190mg / dL, need to pay attention to what they include in meals. It is interesting to consult with a nutritionist or nutritionist and learn what is recommended and what is best to reduce consumption.

Most of the time, it is recommended to avoid excess red meat, sugar, dairy products and foods that contain trans fats.

Below are some foods that should be avoided and / or eaten in moderation:

  • Red meat;
  • White meats with skin;
  • Whole milk and dairy products;
  • Industrialized cookies, cakes and sweets;
  • Sausage, bacon, ham, salami;
  • Very spicy products;
  • Lard;
  • Butter or margarine,
  • Fast-foods in general;
  • Alcoholic beverages;
  • Fried foods in general;
  • Microwave popcorn;
  • Vegetable fat.

Who has high cholesterol can eat bananas?

Yes. The banana is a very nutritious fruit and offers several benefits for the body. Because it contains fiber, its regular consumption can be beneficial for those with high cholesterol. Fiber helps eliminate excess “bad” cholesterol from the body.

The ideal is to consume about three units a week to obtain the benefits of the banana. As there are several types – nanica, apple, silver, gold, it is possible to vary a lot and guarantee the consumption of the fruit.

Who has high cholesterol can eat egg?

Yes. But it is necessary to consume in moderation and keep an eye on how to prepare. For a long time, the egg was considered the villain of the diet of those who have high cholesterol. It was believed that the consumption of a cholesterol-rich food could directly increase the levels of “bad” cholesterol in the blood.

But today there are several scientific studies that show that this does not happen. Therefore, if the egg is associated with a healthy diet, it does not raise the “bad” cholesterol in the body.

Only in large quantities, it can have impacts. It has been proven that consuming seven units a week, for example, does not change blood cholesterol levels. However, more than 12 weekly eggs already increase LDL rates.

The form of preparation is also important: the ideal is to opt for boiled or scrambled eggs. Avoid fried or omelettes stuffed with fatty ingredients. It is also important to avoid associating the food with others high in cholesterol in the same meal, as is the case with red meats and sausages.

Which vegetables help lower cholesterol?

Vegetables can be very beneficial for those with high cholesterol. That’s because most contain soluble fibers.

Because of this, they decrease the amount of HDL cholesterol by loading the fat molecules into the fecal cake and helping to eliminate it through the stool.

Thus, the fibers cleanse excess fat and lower the level of absorbed cholesterol. However, in addition to fiber-rich foods, it is necessary to consume enough water for this benefit to occur.

Some options include eggplant , cucumber, zucchini, carrots, broccoli, spinach, for example. But the list is long, so you can vary between those eaten raw or sauteed, for example.

But it is worth reinforcing the need to avoid eating them fried or with industrialized spices.

Are natural fruits and juices allowed for those on a diet to lower cholesterol?

Yes. There are no specific restrictions on the consumption of fruits and natural juices. Some fruits, in fact, are highly recommended, as they increase the “good” cholesterol in the body and fight the “bad” cholesterol.

Avocado, for example, is a fruit rich in oleic acid, which is a type of monounsaturated fat. It helps to lower “bad” (LDL) cholesterol levels and increase “good” (HDL) cholesterol levels, as they reduce the absorption of cholesterol in the intestine and its synthesis by the liver.

In addition, fruits with a lot of fiber in their composition, such as plums, guava, figs, peaches, apples, oranges, pears and lemons, can increase the level of “good” cholesterol.

In the case of red and purple fruits, the benefit happens because they are sources of vitamin C and flavonoids (anthocyanins) that have antioxidant action.

Therefore, they reduce the production of free radicals and inhibit the oxidation of “bad” cholesterol. The list includes fruits such as strawberries, jabuticaba, grapes , cherries, blackberries , blueberries, among others.

It is worth mentioning that the recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO) is to consume 3 to 5 servings per day of fruit. And it is important to vary to increase the nutrients ingested.

Natural juices are also healthy options for those with high cholesterol. It is necessary to always include fruit and avoid sweetening with sugar, especially refined.

Another important tip is to avoid straining the juice after preparation to consume more fibers, as they are present in bagasse, peels or pulps.

Keeping cholesterol in check is a simple way to avoid various health problems. In this sense, paying attention to food is fundamental.

Taking care of what is ingested and adopting healthy eating habits makes all the difference to control high cholesterol!

See more food and health tips in the Healthy Minute!