I’ve already covered how to prevent oxidized cholesterol. But, prevention has two sides. That article taught you the best foods for cholesterol. Today, I’ll tackle the opposite. What are the worst oxidized cholesterol foods?
Luckily, this topic isn’t as obscure as you might think. General guidelines—like avoiding fried foods—are the same.
That’s because of how oxidized and LDL cholesterol relate to each other. So, what does that mean?
Let’s find out!
Why are the worst oxidized cholesterol foods so bad?
Now, LDL is the type of cholesterol we should avoid. But, it’s not solely because of its direct issues. Oxidized cholesterol is the reason behind most of its consequences.
Bad cholesterol increases your risk of developing atherosclerosis. But, that’s because of oxidized cholesterol’s action. In fact, added oxidized cholesterol develops these issues faster than LDL.
In LDL-deficient mice, oxidized cholesterol actually increased fat streak lesions by 30%. Thus, oxidized cholesterol is the culprit behind most of LDL’s ill-effects.
We still don’t know a lot about oxidized cholesterol
So, why does LDL get most of the reputation? That’s because we’re just learning what oxidized cholesterol is.
Heating fatty foods oxidizes the cholesterol. That’s what we know as oxycholesterol, or oxidized cholesterol. Trans fats and hydrogenated oils also improve processed foods’ taste and texture.
This presence in our diets could be the real cause behind atherosclerosis. Oxycholesterol clogs our arteries. Before, LDL was the main culprit behind artery clogging. But, the real issue could be these clogs’ oxidation.
What are the worst oxidized cholesterol foods?
Bad cholesterol creates plaque buildups in the artery walls. Then, that cholesterol oxidizes and damages the cholesterol cells.
Our immune systems may mistake that for bacteria. So, it triggers defense mechanisms, like inflammation. From there, the link to atherosclerosis becomes clear.
Yet, there’s one crucial pointer. Oxidized cholesterol becomes a problem after LDL clogs the arteries. So, its negative effects relate directly to LDL.
In other words, avoiding LDL should lower our oxidized cholesterol as well.
Firstly, we’ve got the fat found in red meat and dairy. This fat isn’t good or bad. It raises good and bad cholesterol. So, you don’t have to avoid it—just moderate it.
Moreover, the link between saturated fats and heart disease isn’t clear. We only know that both cholesterol types increase with them. Just make sure you’re not overdoing it.
Trans fats are the only “proven” bad type of fat. Some foods naturally contain trans fats. But, they’re more prevalent in processed foots. That’s because of partial hydrogenation, a common practice.
Trans fats increase LDL while decreasing HDL. In other words, it benefits bad cholesterol over the good one.
What are the worst oxidized cholesterol foods in general?
So, you should only worry about two types of fats. That means avoiding the following foods:
- Fatty red meat cuts.
- Processed foods.
- Fried food.
- Hydrogenated (or partially hydrogenated) oils and products.
- Refined sugar.
The holistic takeaway
So, what are the worst oxidized cholesterol foods? The answer is quite simple.
They’re the same foods you should avoid to keep your cholesterol healthy. Oxidized cholesterol is quite mysterious. Yet, that’s mostly because of its relationship to our health. The same goes for its causes.
That said, its existence doesn’t change a lot about prevention. LDL is still bad cholesterol. And, oxidized cholesterol could be “worse” cholesterol.
But, can you do something specifically against it? You might.
The Oxidized Cholesterol Strategy targets oxidized cholesterol specifically. It’s a less-restricting diet plan to eliminate it.
If you want to learn more, check out my review!