Cholesterol levels in your blood are largely affected by your diet, weight and level of physical activity. A diet high in saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol can contribute to elevated cholesterol levels. Eggs often get a bad rep when it comes to food items which raise cholesterol levels but are they really that bad?
Eggs are naturally high in cholesterol, however, the cholesterol in eggs doesn’t seem to raise cholesterol levels the way other cholesterol-containing foods do, such as trans fats and saturated fats.
Although some studies have found a link between eating eggs and heart disease, there may be other reasons for these findings, said the Mayo Clinic.
The site added: “The foods people typically eat with eggs, such as bacon, sausage and ham, may do more to boost heart disease risk than eggs do.”
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Health experts advise eating as little dietary cholesterol as you can.
Its suggest for a person to aim at keeping their intake under 300 milligrams (mg) a day.
One large egg has about 186 mg of cholesterol all of which is found in the yolk.
For those concerned about their cholesterol levels and egg consumption, its suggested to have one egg yolk and the rest with egg whites as to ensure cholesterol levels stay healthy.
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It’s much more important to limit the amount of saturated fat you eat, said Heart UK.
The charity continued: “Too much saturated fat can raise the cholesterol in your blood.
“So, most people can eat eggs as long as they are part of a healthy diet that is low in saturated fat.
“If you have high blood cholesterol, you should limit the amount of cholesterol you eat to about 300mg per day.
“That’s about the amount most people in the UK eat. Eating three to four eggs a week should be fine but speak to your doctor or dietitian about what’s best for you.”
Surprising food which is raising your cholesterol levels
Red meat and full-fat dairy are food items best to avoid if wanting to keep your cholesterol levels in check.
All animal foods contain some cholesterol. But by cutting down on the animal foods that contain saturated fats you will be keeping the cholesterol in your diet in check too.
Foods which contain high cholesterol include full fat dairy foods such as milk, cheese, yoghurt and cream.
Animal fats such as butter, margarines and spreads made from animal fats should also be avoided.
What to add more of
Nuts have been linked to improved cholesterol levels but almonds have been singled out.
In the study, published in JAMA, eating two to three servings of nuts per day decreased LDL cholesterol by an average of 10.2 mg/dl.
The cholesterol-lowering effect is partly attributed to the phytosterols found in nuts.
These plant compounds are structurally similar to cholesterol and help lower cholesterol by blocking its absorption in your intestines.