7 Foods You Should Never Eat With High Cholesterol

a steak with ice cream and french fries

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a steak with ice cream and french fries
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Combating Cholesterol

If you're struggling with high cholesterol, it's really important you pay attention to what foods you're eating to understand how they can impact your levels. While you might find some of your go-to cravings aren't actually all that good for you, there are always workarounds to explore, too. 

Here are eight foods you should probably try and steer clear of if high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol — the "bad cholesterol" that causes buildup of plaque on the arterial walls in the heart and brain — is something you're facing. 

Related: 26 Secrets for Eating Healthy on a Budget

Raw meats on Butcher's shop. Stock Image

1. Red Meat

Step away from the steak if you have high cholesterol. Steak, beef roast, pork chops, ribs, and hamburger meat are high in saturated fat and cholesterol. Opt instead for small portions of leaner cuts of beef no more than once a week, or better yet, consider fish or shellfish, Dr. Elizabeth Klodas, a cardiologist who treats patients with high cholesterol, tells CNBC

variety of beer snack

2. Fried Foods

You'll want to stay away from county fairs and fish fries if you're trying to keep your cholesterol levels down, because fried foods are some of the most colossal carriers of bad cholesterol (say that five times fast), according to Harvard Health. If you're after that satisfying crunch you get when tossing food into the deep fryer, invest in an air fryer instead.

Various fresh dairy products

3. Full-Fat Dairy

Full-fat dairy, including whole milk, yogurt, butter, and cheese, are high in saturated fat. Cheese is also notorious for higher sodium levels. Suffice it to say, these beloved dairy products are a surefire way to skyrocket your LDL cholesterol, according to Healthline

Various meat in steel containers for serving in a buffet at restaurant

4. Processed Meat

We know: Bacon makes everything better. Except your cholesterol. We hate to break it to ya, but processed meats like bacon, hot dogs, and sausage use some of the fattiest parts of red meat, which we mentioned earlier, and they embrace sodium for curing. 

lots of cakes

5. Baked Goods

There are ways to satisfy your sweet tooth without sending your blood pressure through the roof and unfortunately, stuffing your face with cupcakes or going full on Cookie Monster is not the move here. Start simple and look for cookie recipes that replace butter with ingredients like applesauce to get the fat levels down a bit.

Related: Delicious Diabetic Dessert Recipes Everyone Will Love

Bottle of coconut oil and fresh coconuts with palm leaf on brown background.
Inna Dodor/istockphoto

6. Coconut Oil and Palm Oil

GASP, not coconut oil! This stuff is constantly touted as a healthy cooking ingredient, but it's actually been shown to raise bad cholesterol, according to the Mayo Clinic. We feel so betrayed! Palm oil falls into the same category ... those tropical cooking oils are sneaky.

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Pistachio, Chocolate, Strawberry and Vanilla Ice Cream in a Cone

7. Ice Cream

Sheesh, twist the dagger a little deeper into our already bleeding hearts. Your standard dairy-based ice cream products are gonna be loaded with saturated fats and subsequently can raise your LDL cholesterol, says Healthline. There are plenty of frozen alternatives to explore.