If we have high cholesterol or for whatever reason we want to eat a diet low in cholesterol, then we have to bear in mind that we are going to deprive ourselves of many foods, and that we are going to have to replace them with others that we may not like too much, But a diet without cholesterol is going to benefit us a lot.
Cholesterol is something innate that we have in our body, but we have always been told that it is bad. No, not all cholesterol is bad. Remember that we have 2 types of cholesterol: HDL, which is the good one, and serves to eliminate the bad one, which is LDL.
Cholesterol in normal and controlled levels is essential for our body, since it is a molecule that exists in our liver, in the brain, in our nerves, in the blood and in the bile. It is present in the membranes of our cells and helps in the formation of hormones, metabolism of vitamin D and that same cholesterol molecule is essential for our body to absorb calcium and bile acids.
As we see cholesterol is essential in our day to day, but what is not essential is having excess cholesterol. The dangerous thing is having high cholesterol levels. A healthy adult should have cholesterol levels around 125 to 200. More than 200 mg is considered high cholesterol and our health is at risk.
Cholesterol free foods
Yes, there are foods without cholesterol, hence when we have high cholesterol they send us diet, moderate exercise and other changes in our lifestyle. We do not like the word diet very much, we always prefer to choose a healthy diet, since diets have to be short-term, otherwise the body gets used to it and the result is counterproductive.
Fruits and vegetables
These food groups are free of cholesterol, as long as we eat them raw, roasted, steamed, etc. If we fry any vegetables, we bread them, soak them in sauces, etc. then they are not healthy and we are adding extra fat and calories that are going to make us feel very bad.
Our diet has to be based mainly on this type of fresh and natural food . We can mix fruits and vegetables with other foods that we will see in this list of cholesterol-free foods.
Tubers and legumes
All the tubers and legumes that come to mind are cholesterol-free, yes, as long as we eat them in a healthy way. For example, steamed potato, cooked beans, chickpeas with vegetables, lentils without chorizo, etc.
We are before two very important food groups for our diet and the key is to know how to cook them properly and do it in a healthy way, otherwise, we will have cholesterol on our plate. So here you have to be very careful.
Cereals, seeds and nuts
Cereals that are whole or not, do not have cholesterol, these molecules bring it if it is ultra-processed breads such as the sliced breads that they sell in supermarkets. The same happens with rice, brown rice is better, but if we choose normal white rice it does not pose a risk, only how we cook it and with what we mix it.
Some of the same happens with nuts and seeds. If we add seeds or nuts to a natural Greek yogurt without sugar, that will not have bad cholesterol, but if we add it to a Mercadona cake, for example, that food will have unnecessary sugars and fats.
Great care. If we want foods without cholesterol, we will have to see which meats we can eat and which we cannot. To begin with, we will have to say goodbye to red meat, not only because of cholesterol, but because of its relationship with some types of cancers.
The meats that we can eat are rabbit, turkey and chicken (without skin) . It does not mean that they do not have cholesterol, it does, but in less quantity than other meats such as veal, pork, beef, lamb, blood sausage, liver, etc.
Fish and shellfish
We come to an interesting section and that is that all fish are unwelcome, be it white fish or blue fish. This last group is known for its high percentage of fat, but they are very healthy fats . It is also healthy to control the quantities and the way in which we cook them. Like meat it is always better with vegetables and steamed.
With regard to shellfish, those with the least cholesterol are shrimp (headless), prawns, cuttlefish meat and squid. We return to the same thing, how we cook them is essential to further reduce cholesterol.
Eggs and dairy
You have to eat all of the eggs because they are an essential food in our diet, but we must know that what does not have cholesterol is the white , the yolk does. Even so, it is important to eat the whole egg because of its high nutritional value.
As for dairy, we already know that they are a very broad food group and very rich in essential nutrients. This is why we recommend reducing its consumption if we have high cholesterol, but if we have normal levels, we can choose only to consume skimmed or semi-skimmed milk, semi-cured or low-calorie cheeses and skimmed yoghurts.
Foods to avoid
We have to avoid all industrial sweets and pastries, as well as refined or low-quality oils; trans fats; the ultra-processed; sugary foods; ready meals; sausages; low-quality chocolate; pre-cooked pizzas; deep-frozen foods that are already ultra-processed; the fried and overflowing; poor quality cheeses; spicy foods and foods; ultra-processed sauces; sugary drinks, etc.
We can make slight changes and considerably reduce meat consumption ; substitute some dairy products for vegetable alternatives; take pure cocoa instead of sugary soluble cocoa; always choose fruit instead of canned juices made from concentrate; reduce the consumption of pastries and sugary cereals; exchange cheap white bread for quality bread with darker crumbs; drink 2 liters of water a day; do some kind of physical activity, etc.