For all the bad rep that cholesterol gets, it is an essential nutrient that is needed by your body. Cholesterol is a lipid that helps transport things like hormones and the like through your bloodstream. But that doesn’t mean that the fear of high cholesterol amongst people isn’t justified. The problems with high cholesterol are massive. Think heart disease, chest pain, and even strokes.

If your blood isn’t flowing well, there are bound to be issues down the line. However, the good news is that dietary changes help balance cholesterol levels. So today, let’s go over a list of certain foods to avoid if you have recently been diagnosed with high cholesterol! 

1. Cheese

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This is a painful one, but it’s true. Cheeses taste so good because of how fatty and umami they can be, but this doesn’t translate into a healthy, nutritious meal if you’re trying to avoid raising your cholesterol levels. Low-fat cheeses do exist, but they carry the risk of being highly processed.

2. Salami

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Speaking of processed: Most processed meats are off the table if you’re trying to be good about your cholesterol. Processed meats are cured in a way where the meat used has to be rich and fatty to be preserved well enough. That’s why things like sausages and pepperoni are extremely high in cholesterol.

3. Ice Cream 

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Ice cream is basically a bunch of fats and eggs beaten with sugar, so of course it’s going to be high in cholesterol. This is even worse with commercially made ice cream, which is usually made using cheaper vegetable fats that are very unhealthy for the body. 

4. Organ Meat

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Organ meats are generally healthy, especially if you’re anemic and trying to build muscle mass. They are iron-rich and nutrient-dense, making them a delicacy in many cultures. But, according to WebMD, they also happen to be very fatty, leading to high levels of cholesterol.

5. Heavy Cream

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Heavy cream is delicious. It makes things like ice cream and mousse so decadent and rich and whips up beautifully for a silky smooth mouthfeel. But that delicious flavor has a price because heavy cream is very high in butter fat. So, it’s not recommended for anyone trying to reduce their cholesterol levels. 

6. Butter

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While it may be delicious, it’s widely known that too much butter consumption leads to multiple heart diseases. Butter is full of fats that are known to congeal in heart valves and cause issues. It’s why most doctors advise against fad diets that incorporate too much butter, such as the carnivore diet and more. 

7. Sardines

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Sardines are small fish, but they certainly pack a punch. Often consumed canned, sardines can be a great source of omega-6 and good fatty acids. But those fatty acids aren’t always good for you. Since sardines are such oily fish, they can easily contribute to rising cholesterol levels.

8. Deep Fried Foods

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This is a no-brainer because obviously, most deep-fried foods are bad for you. Deep frying foods such as chicken or french fries means that the food absorbs the excess oil it is cooked in. And while that makes them extremely delicious, it also makes them extremely unhealthy to eat regularly. 

9. Cakes

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Sure, cakes might not feel like they might be very indulgent, especially plain tea cakes. But all cakes contain high levels of fats and sugar that are better suited to being eaten as a treat rather than on a regular basis. This isn’t even mentioning the icing, which is laden with cholesterol-raising ingredients such as butter, cream, and shortening. 

10. Steaks

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All steaks run a risk of increasing cholesterol levels, even the ones marked lean. And that’s because steaks are usually cut from the tenderest piece of the cow, meaning they would be rich in fat and tendon. Plus, they are often basted in even more butter to impart a good sear and flavor. No one likes eating a dry steak, now do they?

11. Full Fat Yogurt 

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While Greek Yogurt is often advertised as being a great healthy alternative to things like cream or mayo in dips, the same can’t be said for full-fat yogurt. As the name suggests, it is rich and creamy, leading it to not being the healthiest when it comes to yogurts.

12. Mayonnaise

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This condiment might be delicious, and the basis of some of the best fry sauces, but its creamy texture is owed to its high oil content. Mayonnaise is basically whipped egg yolks emulsified in oil, so that’s not too surprising. 

13. Pork 

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Out of all the meats out there, pork tends to be the unhealthiest. Thanks to its extremely high-fat content, pork can be cooked for hours and still remain relatively fat and juicy. That’s why things like bacon can be cured and preserved, but it’s also why it contributes to high cholesterol. 

14. Enriched Breads

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Enriched breads like brioche and milk bread are not only high in sugar content but also raise cholesterol levels exponentially. They are delicious and chewy, but the carbs are not easily digested, and the butter, eggs, and milk in them make them less healthy than other breads, such as sourdough. 

15. Coconut Oil 

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Coconut oil is touted for its skin-replenishing benefits, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for your arteries. Coconut oil can solidify at relatively normal temperatures, with its fat molecules being bigger than those of other oils. And while that’s great for moisturizing, it’s not so great at keeping cholesterol levels at bay. 

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