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Cholesterol levels increase gradually, and your diet has a key role in this. While there are no prominent symptoms, high levels of cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease. Avoiding foods that contain high amounts of bad cholesterol (LDL) is an easy way to prevent an increase in cholesterol levels. Nidhi Dhawan, HOD – Dietetics, Saroj Super Speciality Hospital, New Delhi, shares with us a list of foods that you must avoid if you have high cholesterol or wish to prevent it.  

First, you need to avoid fried foods. French fries, fried chicken, chips, etc.are high-cholesterol food items and should be avoided whenever possible. The hydrogenated oil used for frying these foods contains bad fats that tend to raise bad (LDL) cholesterol in the body.

Second, you need to avoid ice creams and sugary treats. Ice creams and baked goodies, such as cakes, pastries, and cookies, contain added sugars. Studies[1] indicate the link between added sugars and increased LDL (bad cholesterol). Added sugars also decrease the level of HDL[2] (good cholesterol) and increase triglycerides in your body. These sugary treats, along with soft drinks and canned juices, are also associated with weight gain, which eventually spikes the cholesterol levels in your body.

Third, you should avoid egg yolks. The yolk is another food that must be avoided or consumed in moderation if you have high or borderline cholesterol levels. You should combine the consumption of yolks with some physical exercise to maintain your cholesterol levels. It is recommended that you consume no more than 3 egg yolks in a week. Avoid eating egg yolks and consume only egg whites to keep your cholesterol in check.

Fourth, you should avoid butter. From snacks to breakfast, most things we eat are made with butter, like bread toast, popcorn, etc. Butter has high amounts of saturated milk fats and cholesterol. Instead, switch to nut butters or other healthier alternatives. Anything that contains more than 1% of milk fat should be avoided.

Fifth, you need to avoid red Meat. Lamb, mutton, and pork contain high levels of cholesterol and saturated fats, more than any other meat product. This is even more harmful if the person already has high levels of cholesterol, and it may even be fatal if they suffer from heart disease. Instead, choosing alternatives, including chicken, which is boiled or roasted, and fish, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, will satisfy your nutritional needs and keep your cholesterol in check.

Sixth, you need to avoid coconut and coconut oil. Food items that contain or are made from coconuts or foods processed in coconut oil should be avoided if you have an elevated level of cholesterol. Both coconut and palm oil has a high amount of saturated fat, and switching to healthy alternatives will help bring down the level of bad cholesterol.

Finally, you must avoid refined grain products. Food items made from refined grains or flour (maida) contain refined carbohydrates, which may have a negative effect on your good cholesterol (HDL) levels. Avoid consuming products like white bread or pasta. You can replace these items with better alternatives like multigrain or whole wheat bread instead.


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21901431
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24808490

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