Cholesterol is broken up into two categories: low-density lipoprotein/LDL (or bad) cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein/HDL (or good cholesterol). Lipoproteins transport cholesterol through the body. HDL cholesterol is classified as being good cholesterol because the HDL transports cholesterol straight to the liver and helps the body to rid itself of it, before it accumulates in your arteries.

Alternatively, low-density lipoprotein, or LDL is also called ‘bad cholesterol’ because LDL transports cholesterol to your arteries where it can build up and cause a blockage in the arteries. In this post we take a look at some of the worst foods to avoid that have an abundance of cholesterol:

1. Fried Foods
Fried foods should be avoided at all costs when it comes to having a high cholesterol level. In general, because of the fact that they are cooked in oil, fried foods are high in cholesterol, calories and trans fat. Trans fat is defined as being the worst kind of fat. High consumption of trans fat has been linked to increased risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

2. Processed Pastries
The problem with processed pastries is that they contain an abundance of saturated fat. Prepared foods like pastries and cookies also have hydrogenated shortenings inside time. Hydrogenation is the process by which vegetable oil gets hardened so it can give products a longer life on the shelf. However, this process causes the oils that’s used in the pastry’s creation to raise LDL levels in the body.

3. Fatty Meats
Many people are told to avoid fatty meats (i.e., beef, pork, or lamb) when it comes to lowering their cholesterol levels. Unfortunately, fatty meats contain a specific type of fat which can raise your cholesterol levels. This is because our bodies create all the LDL cholesterol that it needs. Therefore, by eating additional food sources that are high in saturated fats, such as fatty means, increases the amount of LDL cholesterol that our bodies make.

4. Lard
Said in simpler terms, lard is pork fat. It is commonly sold in a can. It’s also commonly touted as being healthier than regular oil. This is because it has a higher burning point, so the food that’s cooked in it soaks up less grease. However, lard still contains 25% of the total amount of saturated fat that you find in butter. As such, it can still raise cholesterol levels if you consume it in excess.

5. Saturated Vegetable Oil
The problem with saturated vegetable oil is that it is packed with saturated fats. While Our bodies actually need fat when it comes to producing energy for the critical functions of the body. However, an abundance of saturated fat can lead to an increase of cholesterol levels in the body. It’s important to note that various oils that are touted as being healthy, also fall under this category. Some prime examples include palm oil and coconut oil.

6. Dairy Products
Dairy products are commonly regarded as being the “surprisingly unhealthy” food group. While it may be true that dairy products are ideal when it comes to getting an adequate amount of calcium, they can raise your cholesterol levels as well. The problem with whole dairy products is that they are high in cholesterol and saturated fats. As such, many experts suggest that individuals with high cholesterol levels should choose a low or reduced fat option instead.