No, not according to the latest research. Heart disease has been commonly misdiagnosed and mistreated for years. Advising patients avoid or reduce dietary cholesterol and saturated fat has been a myth for years. Blood levels of cholesterol are still a risk for heart disease, however, latest research shows that eating foods high in cholesterol do not raise your blood cholesterol. Cholesterol that you eat is not the same as as cholesterol that clogs your arteries. So many people have been afraid to eat foods high in cholesterol as a way to keep their cholesterol levels down, and research has shown that not to be necessary. As a matter of fact, low carb diets that are high in saturated fats, like the Keto food plan, have been found to increase HDL, lower plasma insulin, and promote many health benefits.
What foods are OK to eat if I have high cholesterol?
One food that’s gotten bad press in the past, has been the egg yolk. We all know there is HDL, or good cholesterol, and LDL or bad cholesterol. Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and albacore tuna are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega 3s support heart health. Dark leafy greens like romaine, arugula, and spinach aren’t fatty foods, but have a healthy ratio of omega-3s. Raw is best in this instance. Chia seeds are also another great source of omega-3s as well. Flax seeds are a rich source, but they contain a different kind of omega-3 than fatty fish. On a side note, Flax seeds are better consumed whole, and ground in a pepper style grinder over food. Store your flax seeds in the freezer to preserve their freshness. This ensures that the lignans, polyphenols found in plants, do not become oxidized, therefore greatly diminishing their effectiveness. Good flax seed oils are always refrigerated, but the lignans in those pricey oils are not as fresh and potent as grinding your own.
What foods are not OK to eat if I have high cholesterol?
Hydrogenated oils are not healthy for anyone. Hydrogenation is a chemical process that turns liquid oil to solid. The most famous food that contained this was Oleo Margarine. The major cause for Type 2 diabetes, a man-made disease as a result. Partially hydrogenated oils contain trans fat. These raise LDL, and lower HDL, as well as other harmful things they do to the body. Fully hydrogenated oils don’t contain trans fat, but have the same harmful effects on blood cholesterol as trans fats. These are also worse for blood sugar balance and control. Diabetics especially, should avoid hydrogenated oils and trans fat. These harmful fats are much more dangerous than saturated fats or dietary cholesterol. Be sure and watch the ingredient list in even what you might consider health food. Protein bars, diet foods, frozen foods and more, may contain these harmful fats.
The bottom line is, use your intuition. Oils and foods that have to be modified in the lab are not good choices. Read ALL labels before buying your food. I recommend that my patients go to the store at night, or when it’s slow, so they can take the time to read the labels on their favorite foods. Many times, another brand may offer the same product without dangerous fats and chemicals.
For any questions on my articles, please email me at DrLeisa@CaringPainRelief.com
Leisa-Marie Grgula, D.C.
21043 N Cave Creek Rd. #A9
Phoenix, AZ 85024