There are 3 shocking cholesterol facts about food that you should know especially if you have been diagnosed with high cholesterol or hyperlipidemia. These eye-opening bits of information will help you to eat well and remain healthier for longer. High cholesterol is a risk factor for chronic kidney disease and cardiovascular disease.
Medications designed to treat high cholesterol are helpful but they are not without their potential adverse effects. Therefore, it is very important to try optimization of your diet to help prevent and help treat hyperlipidemia. For example, the popular medication Fenofibrate can cause worsening of your kidney function. If this worsening of kidney function occurs due to fenofibrate (or similar medications called fibrates), not all patients will regain their normal kidney function after the medication is stopped.
There are also other medications for high cholesterol which are outside of the scope of this article. However, I would like for you to consider this: If you can prevent high cholesterol in the first place, you wont need to worry about taking medications! Healthy choices like avoiding fast foods and certain foods can make a difference. Please be reminded though, that even though your diet can cause high cholesterol, there are some unique people who have hereditary causes of high cholesterol (independent of diet) due to a genetic abnormality.
Without further ado, to make better, healthier choices & help protect your cardiovascular health and hence kidneys, here are:
3 Shocking Cholesterol Facts: Foods that Need to be on Your Radar!
- Eggs: a surprising source of large amounts of cholesterol
- Add fiber for manifold benefits: fiber counteracts high cholesterol
- Red meat & Organ meats have a very high cholesterol content.
Eggs: #1 of 3 Shocking Cholesterol Facts- a surprising source of large amounts of cholesterol
According to the nutrition facts for eggs visible on almost every egg carton in the US, and according to the US Deparment of Agriculture: one egg of normal size contains approximately 187 mg of cholesterol or 62% of the daily recommended cholesterol intake for an average healthy adult. Yes, shocking: especially if your breakfast typically includes 2 eggs which would greater than the maximum amount of cholesterol you are supposed to consume for the entire day. Remember this is only breakfast: we have not yet evaluated lunch, dinner, or the snacks which may include pastries made with eggs.
There is good news however! The fat and cholesterol content of the egg is restricted: limited only to the yolk-the yellow part. Therefore you can enjoy your egg cholesterol-free by removing the yolk!
Fiber: #2 and the Good Part of the 3 Shocking Cholesterol Facts
Fiber or roughage is the antithesis of cholesterol in a manner of speaking: kinda like its “cryptonite!” Cholesterol has a very hard time being absorbed in the presence of fiber in your gastrointestinal tract. Fiber is therefore a positive super power and much needed aspect of the 3 shocking cholesterol facts. Fiber intake is often lacking in the diet of most people in the US as this important article from the American Heart Association. The benefits of fiber surpass improving your cholesterol. Fiber also:
- Helps improve gut health and decreases the risk of colon cancer
- Helps ensure a health gut microbiome
- Helps improve cardiovascular health
Good sources of fiber include fruits and vegetables, especially those eaten fresh. A good practice is to aim for half of the plate of fruits and vegetables at each meal. The recommended daily dietary intake of fiber is about 25 grams. If you are not accustomed to a high fiber diet, it may be best to gradually increase of your dietary fiber: talk to your doctor.
If you have dietary or other restrictions for example medications that are affected by the vitamin K content of fruits and vegetables or other restrictions due to phosphorus, oxalate, purines etc. which may affect your choices regarding fruits and vegetables: there is good mews. Fiber supplements may be a good convenient option. Fiber supplements may also be a good alternative option if you are unable to access fruits and vegetables for your diet.
Fiber supplements may be found in any supermarket or pharmacy and are marketed as names such as
- Related store brands like CVS, Equate at Walmart, Rite Aid, Walgreens
- Finer gummies of varying brands
Talk to your doctor about which fiber supplement may be right for you and the necessary accompanying optimal water intake based on your kidney function and other health factors.
There are many other factors like hereditary disorders that contribute to high cholesterol so you also need to talk to your doctor about your unique case and other interventions that may be necessary for you.
Red meat & Organ meats: #3 of 3 Shocking Cholesterol Facts
Red meat & Organ meats have a very high cholesterol content and this is #3 of the 3 shocking cholesterol facts. However, do not forget the other white meat: Pork also has a very, very high cholesterol content. Red meat and organ meats also have a very high phosphorus content so if you have advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD) then that is another compelling reasons to avoid those foods.
Organ meats include delicacies and other popular foods. For example:
- Liver: regardless of the source- cow, chicken, goat etc.- liver is very high in cholesterol: One serving has 92% of the recommended daily allowance: a pearl of the 3 shocking cholesterol facts
- Kidney: yes animal kidney is a delicacy in some cultures and is rich in cholesterol
- Hot dogs: cholesterol content vary by type and serving size: be mindful of your serving size: the number of hotdogs you have
Suffice to say, if you err and find that lovely steak, liver meal, hotdog, burger or other tasty delight irresistible, then be certain to pair it with a nicely proportioned salad or a serving of fiber and to help limit the amount of cholesterol your body absorbs from the cholesterol-ridden deliciousness!
Please remember that Fiber is a positive super power and much needed aspect of the 3 shocking cholesterol facts so please have a salad when you can! A fruit salad or a vegetable salad will help lower your cholesterol, improve your cardiovascular health, and your colon health!