Five healthy foods that could raise your cholesterol levels, nutritionist urges warning
From Greek yoghurt to granola, certain healthy staples could be packed with saturated fat and sugar, raising your cholesterol levels, according to an expert.
Labelled as a healthier fat alternative that doesn’t compromise on taste, coconut oil is high in saturated fat, with one tablespoon containing as much as 10 grams.
“The best oil for your health is olive oil – lots of research has linked it to good heart health – and it actively lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol and raises HDL (good) cholesterol.”
Prawns and eggs
Around 140 grams of prawns contain 210mg of cholesterol, while one large egg contains about 240mg of cholesterol.
Hobson said: “Most people don’t need to cut down on the cholesterol found naturally in foods such as prawns and eggs.
“[But] for some people, such as those with familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH), high cholesterol or at high risk of cardiovascular disease, it is recommended that they keep cholesterol levels from food down to no more than 300mg per day (200mg for people with FH).”
According to the charity Heart UK, eggs should be limited to three or four weekly and prawns to once or twice per week.
Granola and health bars
Often labelled as a healthy breakfast alternative or a snack, granola and health bars can contain very high amounts of sugar, depending on the exact brand.
Hobson said: “The ingredient list may not say sugar per se, but it could be in one of its many other disguises such as honey or fruit syrup.
“When you eat too much sugar your liver makes more LDL (bad) cholesterol and lowers the amount of HDL (good) cholesterol.
“The extra calories from the sugar you eat also result in an increase in triglycerides which are blood fats that play a role in your cholesterol health.”
The nutritionist concluded that there is room in a balanced diet for all types of foods, so cutting down on fatty and sugary culprits should be enough.
“You can also make food swaps for more cholesterol-friendly alternatives,” he added.