Cholesterol is a wax textured fatty compound whose accumulation in the body could lead to a range of medical issues. Considering the present lifestyle of people, high cholesterol is a common health issue among many. Nowadays, many people are getting affected by high cholesterol issue even at young age. If proper medications and treatment are not followed, it may take a serious turn. You must make every possible attempt to control cholesterol if so diagnosed. Let us read ahead to know what foods to avoid when cholesterol is high?

Symptoms of high cholesterol
There is no specific symptom of high cholesterol levels until it leads to severe consequences like heart attack or stroke. These events don’t occur until cholesterol level is too high and lead to formation of plaque in the arteries which interrupts the blood flow through it.
Blood test named lipid panel is the only method to identify cholesterol level. The test measures HDL and LDL cholesterol levels and triglycerides. The normal lipid profile of an adult is as follows:
•    HDL cholesterol- more than or equals to 60 milligram per deciliter  
•    LDL cholesterol- Less than 100 milligram per deciliter
•    Triglycerides- Less than 150 milligram per deciliter
The total cholesterol between 200-239 mg/dL is considered as borderline whereas 240mg/dL is considered as high cholesterol level.

Risk factors
•    Unhealthy diet: Consuming too much of saturated fats (which are solid at room temperature) like butter, cheese, etc. increases changes of building high cholesterol levels. Full cream dairy products, packaged food items, desserts are high in saturated fats as well.
•    Obesity: People with BMI higher than 30 are comparatively at higher risk of having high cholesterol levels.
•    Smoking and alcohol consumption:
•    Sedentary lifestyle: An inactive lifestyle leads to development of many health issues such as constipation and high cholesterol levels. It has been found that exercise helps to enhance HDL cholesterol levels which are good for health.

What are the foods to avoid in case of high cholesterol?
In case of high cholesterol, one should reduce the consumption of fried food, fast food, cheese, butter, processed meat, and desserts. These foods are the root causes of building cholesterol.
Following food items must be avoided when cholesterol level is high:
•    Egg yolks have a high concentration of cholesterol i.e. a single egg has about 186 milligrams of cholesterol.
•    Cheese is another food item high in cholesterol, 100 grams of cheddar cheese adds 105 mg cholesterol to your diet.
•    Shellfish- 80gm of shellfish serving (shrimp, crab) contains 214 mg cholesterol.
•    Organ meat is also a high cholesterol food (heart, liver, kidney) 145 gram serving contains 350 mg cholesterol.
•    Baked foods also contain a good amount of cholesterol. Doughnuts, cookies, cakes are all high cholesterol food items which should be avoided when your cholesterol level is already high.  
•    Red meat-Most physicians also suggest avoiding red meat. It is harmful to patients having high cholesterol. If the cholesterol is within a normal range, you can take it occasionally.

Timely changes in eating habits and diet composition could save one from fatal consequences like heart attack, stroke and coronary heart disease, etc. People once diagnosed with high cholesterol level should regularly consult doctor and monitor their lipid profile closely.

Note: This article is meant for general awareness purpose. It can't be used as a substitute to any medical prescription. One should consult a medical practitioner or nutritionist before opting for any kind of dietary modification or supplementation.

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What foods to avoid when cholesterol is high?