Foods to Stay Away From if You’re Watching Your Cholesterol

Cholesterol circulates in your blood. There are two types of cholesterol: LDL "bad" and HDL "good." Too much bad cholesterol or not enough good cholesterol can cause build up on the inner walls of your arteries.

Triglycerides are the most common type of fat in the body and are responsible for storing excess energy from your diet. A high triglyceride level combined with low HDL cholesterol or high LDL cholesterol can cause fatty buildups in your artery walls. In turn, this increases your risk of heart attack and stroke. If you’re watching your cholesterol, getting the right amount of fat is essential for your diet.

It’s recommended that your total fat intake should be 25 to 35 percent of your total daily calories. Less than seven percent of those calories should come from saturated or trans fats. Your risk for heart disease and other health problems increases if you have an HDL cholesterol level of 40 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or less for men and 50 mg/dL or less for women. Total daily cholesterol intake should be less than 200 mg/dL, and LDL cholesterol should be less than 100 mg/dL. Avoiding certain foods can help lower your cholesterol. Foods that contain saturated fat are bad for a low-cholesterol diet. Trans fats are also dangerous because they raise LDL cholesterol and lower HDL cholesterol.

Here are some specific types of food to avoid if you are watching your cholesterol.

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