Foods to Avoid for High Cholesterol

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Foods to avoid with high cholesterol include saturated fats and trans fats, which are found in many different animal foods and a few plant foods. Avoid full fat milk, chicken skin and marbleized meats with information from a registered and licensed dietitian in this free video on healthy eating.

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Video Transcript

My name is Christine Marquette, and I'm a registered and licensed dietitian with Marquette Nutrition and Fitness, and I'm going to talk to you about what foods to avoid for high cholesterol. If you have high cholesterol and you're trying to lower it, you're trying to prevent it from getting any higher, the primary foods that you need to avoid are those that have a lot of saturated fat and a lot of trans fat. Saturated fat is primarily found in animal foods. However, there are a few plant foods that have saturated fat as well -- palm and palm kernel oil, coconut oil, coconut. Those are a few examples of some plant foods that have a significant amount of saturated fat. However, there is some controversy with those plant-based types of saturated fats. There are actually several types of saturated fats, and there is some research that is now showing that that particular type of saturated fat may not necessarily increase your bad cholesterol. However, since that's still in some initial stages, you still want to be cautious not to overeat even the plant sources of saturated fat. The animal sources of saturated fat that have had more studies done on them to show that they increase cholesterol are things such as full fat milk, the skin of chicken, the fat on steak or pork chops. That type of fat or, for example, in marbled meat, such as bacon or sausage, that's the kind of fat that has been more associated with high levels of bad cholesterol. Trans fat -- that's a man-made fat. You'll see it listed in the ingredient list of foods as partially hydrogenated oil. That type of fat has a very bad reputation. It has been shown to lower your good levels of cholesterol and to increase your bad levels of cholesterol and to increase your total cholesterol. So trans fat is the fat you absolutely want to avoid. It is getting easier to avoid that type of fat because it does have such a bad reputation. Many restaurants are switching back to oils. Many food manufacturers are also switching back to oils, so they're no longer using that as a fat in their food products. So it is getting a little bit easier to avoid. In your own cooking at home, you want to avoid using cans of shortening -- that would be the primary source. If you are making things at home, you definitely want to avoid that. That will decrease your intake of trans fat tremendously. So again, the primary foods to avoid for high cholesterol are saturated fat from animal foods and trans fats.

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