Foods to avoid high cholesterol

Foods to avoid high cholesterol reveals how you can do it without suffering from the nasty side effects of statins.

Do you have high cholesterol and are a smoker? This man and his doctors couldn't figure out what was causing pain in his right leg when he walked. I could not either until I started hunting for the pulse in his ankle. Something predictable but also surprising; a free tidbit from my third book of anecdotes, Stones in my Clog.

Intermittent claudication

This page was last updated by Bernard Preston on 9th December, 2023.

Cholesterol is a completely natural fatty compound synthesized by the liver. You cannot live without it; it is for example the basis of many hormones in the body and forms an essential part of the cell walls in your tissues.

You also get cholesterol in your diet. Here lies the problem; scientists used to think that some forms, particularly the so-called LDL, consumed in food would greatly increase your chances of having a heart attack or stroke. Research also indicates that when in excess it increases the incidence of lower back pain.

Now it appears that foods rich in cholesterol barely affect the levels in the blood; it's the refined carbs that are the devils.

The first step in this process of analysing your diet is to decide just how aggressive you need to be in lowering your cholesterol. To do that, ask for the results of your blood fat tests and look at the tables below.

I have added my own figures in, not to boast, but just to show that some fairly basic changes in lifestyle can get you off the statins, with all their nasty side effects, that are today being used to lower cholesterol.

I confess it; I am crazy about butter, and our mutton stew, the rich cheeses of Holland, and I refuse to drink low fat milk because it tastes so awful in tea and coffee. I absolutely will not eat margarine, I drink too much beer and yet my cholesterol figures are excellent. How can that be?

It is not just in the genes. It is all about the overall shape of your diet. Are you an old dog, unable to change?

Then this site is not for you; it has been written by another old dog who wants to sit under the fruit trees he has planted, drink tea and watch the grandkids grow up; and he's willing to make the very small sacrifices that will make thatg happen.

Read on, your fatty acid figures can be excellent too. But first, how seriously do you have to take this foods to avoid high cholesterol?

Got those figures on hand?

Foods to avoid high cholesterol

Foods to avoid high cholesterol shows it's not difficult to get your LDLs down with a few dietary changes.

Total cholesterol

But first the LDL HDL cholesterol chart

Cholesterol is not bad! It's a perfectly normal substance in your body, and if you don't eat it, your body will manufacture it. Cholesterol is an essential ingredient of your hormones for example.

Remember there are different kinds of cholesterol. Some should be high! High HDL is protective in your body. HDL is the cholesterol that transport fats back to the liver and, the higher your HDL cholesterol is, the better. Your HDL should be greater than 50 mg/dL, and preferably above 60.

What are LDL and HDL cholesterol?

LDL: Low Density Cholesterol

HDL: High Density Cholesterol

LDL stands for Low Density Lipoprotein. This is the nasty form of cholesterol. Your LDL should certainly be below 130 (3.4) and preferably below 100 (2.6). If it's above 130 you needed to be worried, and in the short term remembering FOODS TO AVOID HIGH CHOLESTEROL is important.

Far more important, in the long term is foods that lower cholesterol...

LDL of 150? You need urgently to look at your diet. Something you are eating, more important, foods you are NOT eating are killing you. Literally. Want to sit under those trees you once planted? Want to watch your grandchildren grow up?

mg/dL and mmol/L

What do these terms mean?

Whilst mg/dL is the traditional unit for measuring cholesterol, the scientific community and most of the world, is moving rapidly to mmol/L.

Not to worry but get used to seeing 5.1 instead of 200 as the boundary between optimal blood cholesterol and the high risk area. Like grams and metres mmol/L is the future.

And only when the folk in the United States take seriously the foods to avoid high cholesterol will the great American dream be realised; that great way of life is seriously undermining everything the Pilgrim Fathers strove for. A close relative has just had a two heart attacks; he's only 44.

LDL HDL chart

This LDL HDL chart gives you some idea of where you are in the troublesome fatty acids stakes. There may be some foods to avoid high cholesterol.

mg/dL mmol/L Good? Bad?
50 1,3 Fantastic
Below 70 1,8 Desirable if smoker
95 2,5 Bernard Preston
Below 100 2,6 Ideal
100-130 2,6+ Fair
160+ 4,1+ High
190+ 4,9+ High Voltage!

HDL (High Density Cholesterol)

So High Density Lipoprotein cholesterol is the good stuff. The higher the better, as it has a protective function. Is your HDL less than 40 (if you are male)and 50 (if you are woman)? You need to be worried.

You are dangerously low on the protective HDL cholesterol.


Biochemistry is complex stuff but just accept that fat that you eat and, in the case of triclycerides, particularly sugar and booze are absorbed into your body is carried around in the blood stream in a form called VLDL (forget the name, but not the principle!); and either immediately used by the cells for energy, or stored as adipose.

These kids are enjoying food dangerously high in fat and sugar; the result is that triglycerides in their blood will be in the High Voltage area before being deposited as adipose tissue. That greatly increases the risk of diabetes and a life-threatening condition called pancreatitis.

Of concern is that one can eat a diet low in fat and have normal LDL cholesterol but because of foods high in sugar or alcohol still have sky-high, very dangerous triglycerides in the blood.

The size of the fat cells in your body are determined by the age of nine. Allow your children to become obese, and you've just condemned them to a lifetime battle with weight. They will probably years later sue you for negligence.

Rightly so since it is nearly as dangerous than starving your child. Not literally but I think you take my point. Foods to avoid high cholesterol is just as important for your kids as for you; perhaps even more so.

Salad divine

What determines the level of LDL cholesterol in the blood?

In short an excess of saturated fat in your diet and too little of the foods that lower LDL cholesterol.

Too much red meat, little unrefined oats and foods like hummus are important; salads and eggplant should also feature.

The level of cholesterol in the blood is controlled by the liver. There are tiny "LDL receptors" that remove the fat from the blood. In some people there are too few of these sensors (it's probably genetic but may well be related to life style, medication and exercise levels too) so they have to be far more vigilant about what they eat.



So your Total Cholesterol is above 200 (5.1), perhaps quite a lot higher (250, 270?) and your LDL is raised at 160 (4.1). The short term strategy is fairly simple.

  1. Lean red meat absolutely no more than once a day. If your cholesterol is 250+, then no more than twice a week.
  2. No more than 2 to 3 eggs per week.
  3. I can't bring myself to say "change to margarine" but butter in very limited quantities.
  4. Cut cheese out completely and drink your tea and coffee black.
  5. Absolutely avoid all hydrogenated foods; no chips or nick-nacks. Read the labels.


There are a lot of foods that will adsorbe the cholesterol you are eating and prevent it being absorbed into your blood stream. THIS IS THE WAY TO GO. Then you can have your cake, AND EAT IT!

Good luck, it can be done. I know because I have my cake; and I eat it. So can you but you need to get to know about foods like oats, apples and hummus; and lots more. They are the good stuff. Far better than meds to lower cholesterol with all their nasty side effects.

Hummus ingred basic optMake your own hummus in just five minutes

To release that fat from your adipose tissue, obviously the first step is to find out which foods to avoid high cholesterol (it's not rocket science), cut back hard on them and especially all refined carbohyrates: starches like commercial bread, pasta and potato; white rice, sugary foods and alcohol.

Beer especially goes straight to the belly; maltose has an extremely high GI.

Homocysteine cardiovascular disease

Understanding homocysteine cardiovascular disease is probably even more important than foods to lower cholesterol.

Scientists now think that HOMOCYSTEINE, a breakdown product of the essential amino acid METHIONINE metabolism (found in large quantities in red meat, fish and dairy products) is an even better indicator of heart and cardiovascular disease, amongst other diseases as Homocysteine attacks the bloodvessel walls.


In short, it's one of the reasons the American Heart Association has come full circle on eggs; they contain the choline and B12 vitally needed to methylate homocysteine; the folate in dark green leafy vegetables too.

So by the inclusion of foods to lower cholesterol, we need to aim for the right to enjoy an egg a day, without spoiling the figures.

We in fact eat only free range eggs because they have three times the omega-3 and higher choline.

It's difficult to locate true free range eggs; sadly a lot of farmers lie through their teeth!

Red yeast rice

Medical research proves that a combination of red yeast rice and fish oil is just as effective as statins... and with fewer side effects for those who are intolerant to statins. RED YEAST RICE ...

Does lowering LDL cholesterol prevent heart attacks and strokes?

Absolutely, unequivocally! FOODS TO AVOID HIGH CHOLESTEROL is vital to lower your raised LDL which will reduce the plaque that clogs your arteries. The cardiologist is conerned about the Coronoray arteries, the neurosurgeon about the Carotid, Basilar and Cerebral arties; the chiropractic about the Vertebral arteries in your neck and the lumbar plexus of arteries that supply your low back... I could go on. LDL cholesterol clogs all the arteries (it's called Atherosclerosis) supplying blood to all parts of the body, not just your heart and brain. Patients with atherolsclerosis have more back pain too...


How can LDL cholesterol levels be lowered?

I've already had my mandatory three fruits for breakfast (a plum, six strawberries and a slice of melon), a bowl of oats, and some homemade hummus (yes, I'm crazy!), so I know my cholesterol figures for the day will be fine, and I can enjoy butter on my sandwich, a boiled egg for lunch and a mutton stew tonight (but not every night! We eat fish three nights a week). I'll be cycling to work, so my VLDL's will be in good shape. Yours could be too...


Just as in buying Carbon Credits you can buy cholesterol credit more: CHOLESTEROL CREDIT ... have your cake and eat it.


Whilst soyabean burgers are perfectly horrid, if you are looking for recipes to lower cholesterol, then chickpea burgers make a wonderful red meat substitute. Enjoy them on a roll or with a green salad. An excellent example of how to lower cholesterol naturally. Even better to my mind, and a lot simpler, is our authentic hummus recipe; it takes only five minutes to rustle it up.


Dizziness and vertigo are not the same; both are more common in persons with raised cholesterol.

They are also more common in patients taking Statin, those drugs used for lowering cholesterol; worse they make one more prone to insulin-dependent diabetes[1].

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Bernard Preston

Bernard Preston became fascinated with this subject when he discovered that, despite not worrying about foods to avoid high cholesterol, his levels were what he facetiously terms "dangerously low." There's no such thing, of course.

Is it genetic or because of a compulsion to enjoy nutritious choice foods? He believes it's more important to ADD new things to the diet rather than fussing about removing eggs and butter and the like; look to enjoying oats and chickpeas regularly, and creating a divine green salad.

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