Also known as hyperlipidemia, high cholesterol means there's too many fats in your blood - notably cholesterol and triglycerides. These can clump together and stick to the artery walls in a process known as atherosclerosis.
The American Heart Association (AHA) asserted that "high cholesterol can be lowered".
"The best way to lower your cholesterol is to reduce your intake of saturated fat and trans fat," stated the AHA.
What are saturated fats?
Typically solid at room temperature, the majority of saturated fats come from animal sources.
Fatty cuts of beef, lamb, and pork are examples of foods high in saturated fat.
In addition, so are lard, cream, butter, cheese and dairy products made from whole or reduced-fat (two percent) milk.
Many baked goods and fried foods can contain high levels of saturated fats too.
What are trans fats?
There are "naturally-occurring and artificial trans fats", clarified the AHA.
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As trans fats can be labelled as "partially hydrogenated oils", look out for it on nutrition labels, in particular keep an eye on:
In order to minimise how much saturated fat and trans fats you have in your diet, you need to focus on healthy eating.
A heart-healthy diet is usually best when it comes to reducing your cholesterol levels.
This type of diet emphasises fruits, vegetables, whole grains, poultry, fish, nuts and "nontropical vegetable oils".
Healthy cooking oils
Otherwise referred to as "nontropical vegetable oils" by the ADA, these are the following cooking oils:
If you do want to choose lean cuts of meat (with minimal visible fat), consider the following:
Do trim all visible fat from meat before cooking, and if you're opting for "ground beef" then choose the "extra lean" version.
Choose oily fish, such as salmon, trout and herring these are high in omega-3 fatty acids.
Shrimp, crab and lobster are also good choices in place of many cuts of meat and poultry.
Meatless meals featuring vegetables and beans are an easy way to lower your cholesterol.
Examples of tasty vegetarian meals include aubergine lasagna, or a big, grilled mushroom burger.
Adding herbs and spices to vegetables can really make them taste delicious. If you'd like any ideas, the ADA suggests the following:
Chopped parsley and chives sprinkled on before serving can also add a burst of flavour to your meals.