7 High-Cholesterol Foods to Avoid (Plus 3 to Eat)

Dr. Fuhrman’s Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI)

ANDI Food Scores: Rating the Nutrient Density of Foods
Axe on Twitter 16 Dr. Food availability per capita data system. Research shows that all fatty acids with one or more bonds in the trans configuration raises the ratio of LDL-to-HDL cholesterol. Americans have not yet grasped the concept of nutrient density and its importance for health and longevity. Studies show that refined grains have a high glycemic index , and consumption of these kind of carbohydrates lead to significantly higher risks of high cholesterol.

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Dietary sugars serve as the cause of obesity , several chronic diseases and a range of cardiometabolic risk factors. Today in the U. Research shows that added sugars have been associated with increased LDL cholesterol, raised triglycerides and decreased HDL cholesterol. This includes baked goods, such as cookies, cakes, muffins, pastries, candies and other packaged foods that contain added sugars. Also, sweetened beverages lead to weight gain and inflammation, which can negatively impact your cholesterol levels.

This includes soda, juices, energy drinks and other sugary drinks on the market today — all of which lead to sugar addiction. Recent studies have shown that processed meats are associated with increased cardiovascular disease and stroke mortality.

Evidence suggests that processed meat consumption increases the risk of heart health issues, while unprocessed meat consumption has a small or no association with cardiovascular disease. Limit consumption of processed meats, such as bacon, sausage, bologna, salami and hot dogs. Plus, processed meats are often high in sodium. Too much alcohol raises your blood pressure and triglyceride levels, while moderate alcohol consumption up to five grams per day may decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Research shows that higher levels of consumption increase the risk of developing heart issues, beginning at 30 grams per day for women and 45 grams per day for men. Milk fat contains a broad range of fatty acids, and some have a negative impact on cholesterol-rich lipoproteins. The saturated fatty acids, such as lauric acid and myristic acid, increase total plasma cholesterol, especially LDL.

Research shows that replacement of dairy saturated fatty acids and trans fatty acids with polyunsaturated fats decreases LDL cholesterol levels and is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.

A diet high in refined carbohydrates , like white bread, tortillas, bagels and pasta, has a negative effect on your HDL cholesterol level. Studies show that refined grains have a high glycemic index , and consumption of these kind of carbohydrates lead to significantly higher risks of high cholesterol.

Opt for high-quality, sprouted breads and fruits instead. Although the majority of dietary cholesterol in the U. The intervention resulted in significant reductions in body weight. LDL and triglyceride concentrations were similar between the two intervention groups, but HDL cholesterol concentrations were higher in the egg-supplemented group.

It turns out that there are plenty of health benefits of eggs , and they can be consumed without worry. The recommendation to lower saturated fat intake is often interpreted as requiring the elimination of beef to control or lower cholesterol levels.

However, research shows that lean beef and chicken consumption had similar effects on plasma levels of total, LDL and HDL cholesterol and triglycerides, suggesting that lean, grass-fed beef and chicken are interchangeable.

Dark chocolate contains flavonols, which are antioxidants that promote heart health and may reduce cholesterol levels and arterial plaque. In the study, 45 healthy volunteers consumed 75 grams daily of either white chocolate, dark chocolate or dark chocolate enriched with cocoa polyphenols. Researchers found that there was an increase in serum HDL cholesterol in the dark chocolate and dark chocolate with cocoa polyphenols groups, and LDL levels decreased in all three study groups.

Our bodies need cholesterol to make hormones that protect the body, vitamin D and bile salts that are necessary for the breakdown of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Plus, the brain and nervous system depend on cholesterol for the creation of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine.

Our bodies make the cholesterol that we need, but we get cholesterol from our food too. If you have too much cholesterol, it starts to build up in your arteries and may lead to atherosclerosis , or the hardening of the arteries.

Eventually, high cholesterol levels may cause heart and blood flow problems, leading to dangerous blood clots and inflammation that can cause heart attacks and strokes. High cholesterol levels alone do not determine if you are at risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

Other factors include your blood pressure, whether or not you smoke, whether or not you have diabetes, and your age, sex and race. This can lead to coronary heart disease and complications, such as chest pain angina , heart attack and stroke. The truth is that not all high-cholesterol foods are bad for you. In fact, some can even increase HDL cholesterol levels and improve your cardiovascular health. To distinguish high-cholesterol foods that should be avoided vs.

The foods that lead to weight gain and inflammation are the ones that should be eliminated from your diet in order to promote cardiovascular health. Fuhrman coined the term Nutritarian to define a diet style which provides a high ratio of micronutrients per calorie and a high level of micronutrient variety. Adequate consumption of micronutrients — vitamins, minerals, and many other phytochemicals — without excessive caloric intake, is the key to achieving excellent health.

To illustrate which foods have the highest nutrient-per-calorie density, Dr. Fuhrman created the aggregate nutrient density index, or ANDI. It lets you quickly see which foods are the most health-promoting and nutrient dense.

The ANDI ranks the nutrient value of many common foods on the basis of how many nutrients they deliver to your body for each calorie consumed. Unlike food labels which list only a few nutrients, ANDI scores are based on thirty-four important nutritional parameters.

Foods are ranked on a scale of , with the most nutrient-dense cruciferous leafy green vegetables scoring It is also important to achieve micronutrient diversity, not just a high level of a few isolated micronutrients. Eating a variety of plant foods is essential to good health.

It is important to include a wide assortment of plant foods in your diet to obtain the full range of nutritional requirements. Include onions, seeds, mushrooms, berries, beans and tomatoes as well as greens in your diet. For your good health, take a minute to evaluate the quality of your current diet and learn which foods you need to consume to improve it. To determine the ANDI scores, an equal-calorie serving of each food was evaluated.

The following nutrients were included in the evaluation: For consistency, nutrient quantities were converted from their typical measurement conventions mg, mcg, IU to a percentage of their Dietary Reference Intake DRI.

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