Winter foods you mustn't eat to control your cholesterol levels – The Indian Express

The winter season is synonymous with binge-eating and over-indulging, since the body — that is usually in a state of rest — craves for calorie-rich foods to stay warm, owing to the fact that the body temperature drops. All of these indulgences in delectable food items and beverages, especially in the holiday season, can raise your cholesterol levels, warns Dr Rohini Patil, MBBS, nutritionist and CEO of Nutracy Lifestyle.
The expert explains that cholesterol, which is a fatty substance, is present in the blood. “It can clog arteries when consumed in excess, resulting in serious health issues. If untreated, it can lead to heart attacks and strokes,” she says.
According to the doctor, high cholesterol may be inherited, but it is “frequently the result of poor lifestyle and dietary choices”. If one is healthy, they should not consume more than 300 grams of cholesterol per day, and if they have high cholesterol, they should limit daily intake to less than 200 grams, Dr Rohini says.
She also lists some consumables that must be avoided during this time; read on.
1. Sugar sweetened beverages: This includes ice creams and other sweet treats. The expert says sugar is added to ice cream and baked goods like cakes, pastries, and cookies. “Saturated fat is abundant in baked goods. The standard dough recipes used to make them are high in total fat, with a large proportion of that being saturated. Added sugars raise triglycerides and lower HDL (the good cholesterol) levels in your body. Along with soft drinks and canned juices, these sugary treats are linked to weight gain,” says Dr Rohini, warning that it can raise your body’s cholesterol levels.
Cookies, cakes, and pastries are frequently made with large amounts of butter and shortening, which makes them high in cholesterol, she adds. But, one need not give up on dessert entirely. “Use applesauce or bananas instead of butter when baking. For dessert, try low-fat frozen yoghurt with berries.”
2. Red meat: Avoid it. “More than any other meat product, lamb, mutton, and pork are high in cholesterol and saturated fats. If the person already has high cholesterol, this can be dangerous, and if they have heart disease, it could be fatal,” warns the expert. She suggests healthier alternatives like fish, which is high in omega-3 fatty acids, and chicken that has been roasted or boiled.
3. Fried foods: Deep-fried snacks like pakoras, fries, potato chips, chicken wings, mozzarella sticks, and onion rings are popular in winter. But, fried foods are “high in calories and dangerous even though they taste good”.
“They have a higher calorie count and energy density than non-fried foods. Use an air fryer and toss your food in olive oil if you like the crunch of fried food. Alternatively, bake potato wedges and chicken at a high temperature until golden brown,” the doctor advised.
She concluded by saying that foods that one might consider to be “healthy” may also contain bad cholesterol. “Many of these foods are suitable for consumption by those with healthy levels of HDL (good cholesterol). If you want to lower your LDL (bad cholesterol), you can include foods high in water, fibre, and HDL. Additionally, exercise lowers bad cholesterol, too.”
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