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The 5 Worst Meats for Cholesterol, According to a Dietitian

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By Shashini ThennakoonPublished 2 years ago 3 min read
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Heart disease, which continues to be the leading cause of death, is greatly influenced by high cholesterol. Cholesterol can accumulate to the point of creating blood clots on the inside of the artery walls of the heart, along with plaque and other fatty deposits. These blood clots have the potential to progress and cause a heart attack, whereas blood clots in or near the brain have the potential to cause a stroke. This is alarming, but high cholesterol levels can typically be avoided and managed with a good diet, regular exercise, quitting smoking, drinking in moderation, and weight management.

For the best defense against cardiovascular problems, the majority of medical professionals advise aiming for total blood cholesterol levels below 200mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter). Contrary to popular belief, dietary cholesterol does not affect blood cholesterol levels as negatively as saturated and trans fat. The kind of fat, not the quantity, is currently thought to have the greatest influence on the risk of heart disease. The Daily Value (DV) recommendation for total fat was actually raised by the FDA in 2016 from 65 grams per day to 78 grams per day.

Try to limit your consumption of trans fats to as little as possible and try to keep your intake of saturated fats under 10% of your total calorie intake (for a 2,000-calorie diet, this equates to up to 22 grams of saturated fat). The FDA's 2015 decision that partly hydrogenated oils (PHOs) are not deemed GRAS has thankfully prevented PHOs, the most prevalent form of trans fat previously found in the food supply, from being allowed as a food additive (Generally Recognized as Safe). However, some animal products like beef, lamb, milk, and butter naturally contain small levels of trans fat.

1 Bacon

Bacon tends to worm its way into many Americanized foods, whether it's served with eggs and biscuits for breakfast, wrapped around veggies like asparagus, or sandwiched between a sesame seed bread, hamburger patty, and cheese. It provides a crunchy layer of savory flavor that could help a meal come together. Unfortunately, it's not restoring your health. Most bacon products have more calories from saturated fat overall (approximately 27 calories per two slices), than from protein (about 22 calories per two slices)!

2 Steak

Knowing the nutritional value of various steak cuts is a good idea because they might differ greatly. Despite the fact that leaner cuts of bison may be treated to minimize fat and consequently hailed as healthier meat, a bison ribeye steak adds a revolting amount of fat to your diet. Per four-ounce serving, untrimmed, it has 11 grams of saturated fat and 1 gram of trans fat.

A four-ounce plate of filet mignon tenderloin steak contains an astonishingly low 10 grams of saturated fat.

With nine grams of saturated fat (and 290 calories!) per four-ounce portion, the porterhouse steak, which is made from cow loin, is comparable to earlier possible cholesterol-raising rivals.

3 Lamb

Although the term "red meat" is frequently used interchangeably with "beef," it also refers to meats like lamb, goat, bison, and hog because they are high in the protein myoglobin, which gives them their red color. Lamb shoulder chops typically contain nine grams of saturated fat per four-ounce meal, compared to an average of 11 grams for lamb loin chops.

Red meat should only be taken once a week at most; if your cholesterol is high or you have a family history of high cholesterol or cardiovascular disease, you may want to further restrict your intake.

4 Ribs

Perhaps it is not shocking that ribs are included in this list. When cooked, ribs can be soft enough to be removed off the bone and typically have visible fat that can be seen as marbling throughout the flesh. The bad news is that each four-ounce serving of beef bone-in short ribs, beef flank style ribs, and beef center cut back ribs has 13 grams of saturated fat.

Try to share the ribs you ordered at a restaurant with a friend (or two!) and order lots of vegetables as a side dish. Ribs have no fiber, whereas many vegetables include several grams of fiber per serving, and fiber intake is linked to better cholesterol control.

5 Sausage

Consuming processed meats like sausage can make it even harder to control your cholesterol levels. We don't want to raise blood pressure, so keep in mind that most smoked sausage links have 350 to 500 milligrams of salt per two-ounce portion, along with 6 grams of saturated fat. Moreover, a two-ounce portion of sausage kielbasa has 5 grams of saturated fat.

Try Simple Truth Meatless Breakfast Patties, which have 0.5 grams of saturated fat per two-ounce serving, or Simple Truth Plant-Based Meatless Kielbasa Sausage to lower cholesterol levels (1.5 grams saturated fat for a whole sausage weighing about 3.3 ounces).

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