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Foods That Contain Cholesterol

Submitted by Nick on February 8, 2011

Foods That Contain Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is produced by the liver. It is a part of all body cells and is also involved in normal body functioning. Cholesterol is required by the body for keeping the cell walls healthy, making hormones, producing vitamin D and secreting bile acids. In some cases, the body may produce excess cholesterol which circulates through the blood. Such a condition can cause clogging of the arteries and increase the risk of heart problems.

The body produces an increased amount of cholesterol when we consume too many foods that are rich in saturated fats. This is a type of fat present in animal-based foods, meats and dairy. Some amount of cholesterol is also obtained from the foods we consume. There are many foods that contain cholesterol and it is important to monitor the consumption of these foods.

There are two types of cholesterol namely low-density lipoprotein or LDL which is also known as bad cholesterol and high-density protein which is also known as good cholesterol.

When there is an excess of cholesterol in the body, either because of increased production or because of consuming fatty foods, the levels of cholesterol in the blood increase. The cholesterol in the blood can then get deposited on the linings of the blood vessels. Scar tissues then forms on these deposits and leads to development of plaque on the blood vessels.

Plaque can cause narrowing and hardening of the arteries. This is known as atherosclerosis. This condition can lead to reduced blood flow and pain and discomfort in the chest may occur.

All fats supply calories to the body and hence lead to weight gain. However saturated fats have the most harmful effects.

Cholesterol is contained in all animal based foods such as poultry, fish, meat, egg yolk, milk and other dairy products. Even the lean portions of meats and the skin of poultry contain cholesterol. Plant based foods such as vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts and dried beans do not contain cholesterol. Baked goods that contain milk, lard, butter or egg yolk may also have cholesterol in them. For a list of what foods contain cholesterol, one can look up health websites. It is also advisable to consult a doctor or a dietician regarding this. A healthy diet must not incorporate foods rich in saturated fats. It also helps to steam, boil or grill foods instead of frying them in oil.
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