If you have high cholesterol, your doctor may have recommended that you make some dietary changes. Air fryers are a great tool to help make those changes easier – and they might even be able to help lower cholesterol levels! Use the table guide below if you need to jump to a particular section of this guide.
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Help Lower Cholesterol Guide
This guide will look at high cholesterol, its causes, food to avoid, and foods you should eat. Read on to find out more.
What Is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fatty substance found in your blood. Your body needs some cholesterol to work properly, but too much can lead to heart disease. High cholesterol doesn’t cause symptoms, so you might not know you have it unless you check your cholesterol. If you have high cholesterol levels, you might want to start thinking of ways to help lower cholesterol.
What Are The Risks Of High Cholesterol?
High cholesterol is one of the biggest risk factors for heart disease. Additionally, according to the ONS, heart disease (Ischaemic Heart Disease) is the leading cause of death in the United Kingdom for both men and women. High cholesterol can also lead to other problems, such as:
Atherosclerosis: This is a hardening and narrowing of your arteries. It can lead to heart attack, stroke, or other problems.
Pancreatitis: This is inflammation of your pancreas.
Gallstones: These are stones that form in your gallbladder.
What Causes High Cholesterol?
Your genes partly determine your cholesterol level. But it’s also influenced by your lifestyle choices, such as what you eat and whether you smoke. Certain conditions can also affect your cholesterol level, such as:
- Kidney disease
- Cushing’s syndrome
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
If you have any of these conditions, your doctor will likely recommend lifestyle changes and/or medication to help lower your cholesterol.
How To Test For High Cholesterol?
A simple blood test can measure your cholesterol levels. This is called a lipid panel or lipid profile. It measures:
- Total cholesterol
- LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol. This is the “bad” cholesterol that can build up in your arteries and increase your risk of heart disease.
- HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol. This “good” cholesterol helps remove LDL cholesterol from your arteries.
- Triglycerides. These fats in your blood can also increase your risk of heart disease.
The results are as milligrams (mg) of cholesterol per deciliter (dL) of blood. Your total cholesterol level should be less than 200 mg/dL. LDL cholesterol levels should be less than 100 mg/dL. If you have heart disease or diabetes, your doctor may want your LDL level to be even lower — below 70 mg/dL. HDL cholesterol levels should be 60 mg/dL or higher. A ratio of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol of 5 or less is ideal. A ratio of 6 means you’re at moderate risk for heart disease, and a ratio above that indicates high risk.
Test And Monitor At Home To Help Lower Cholesterol
You can use a Cholesterol Home Test Kit to test your cholesterol. This involves a simple finger-prick blood test that you can do in the comfort of your own home. You will need to prick your finger with a lancet and collect a small blood sample on a testing strip. The strip is inserted into the test reader, giving you your results within minutes. We recommend the BeneCheck Plus Cholesterol Monitor – our top pick for the best cholesterol test kit. If you have high cholesterol levels and are trying to lower cholesterol, these devices are a great way of tracking your progress.
Foods To Avoid If You Have High Cholesterol
You’ll want to avoid foods high in saturated and trans fats if you have high cholesterol. These include:
- Whole milk
- Ice cream
- Fatty cuts of meat
High cholesterol can be a severe problem, but you can lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease. Talk to your doctor about lifestyle changes and medication options. And make sure to avoid foods high in saturated and trans fats. Examples of saturated and trans fats are listed above.
Can Air Fryers Help Lower Cholesterol?
While air fryers can’t directly lower cholesterol, they can help by cooking foods to minimise the formation of harmful compounds. When food is cooked at high temperatures, it can create compounds that are linked to an increased risk of heart disease. But when cooked in an air fryer, food is exposed to less heat overall, which can help to reduce the formation of these harmful compounds.
Air frying can also help you eat healthier by making cooking quick and healthy meals at home easier. And eating healthy is one of the best ways to lower your cholesterol. And air fryers can help you do that by making it easier to cook healthier meals at home. So if you have high cholesterol, an air fryer can be a valuable tool to improve your cholesterol levels.
Are Food Cooked In An Fryer Lower In Saturated And Trans Fats?
Yes, food cooked in an air fryer is typically lower in saturated and trans fats than other methods. This is because air fryers use less oil than traditional frying methods. And when you use less oil, you consume fewer calories and fat.
Low-Saturated And Trans Fats Foods To Help Lower Cholesterol
Some of the best foods to cook in an air fryer if you have high cholesterol are lean proteins, vegetables, and fruits. Lean proteins like chicken, fish, and tofu are low in saturated and trans fats. And vegetables and fruits are naturally low in fat and calories. So cooking these foods in an air fryer is a great way to make a healthy low-fat meal.
Some of the best vegetables to cook in an air fryer to help lower cholesterol include:
- Sweet potatoes
And some of the best fruits to cook in an air fryer to help lower cholesterol include:
Some of the best low-cholesterol meats and fish to cook in an air fryer to help lower cholesterol include:
- Chicken breasts
- Turkey breast
Final Thoughts On If Air Fryers Help Lower Cholesterol
If you have high cholesterol, air fryers could be a great way to help improve your cholesterol levels. Air fryers cook food using less oil than conventional cooking methods, which can help to reduce the formation of harmful compounds. And air fryings can also help you eat healthier by making it easier to cook quick and healthy meals at home. So if you have high cholesterol, an air fryer can be a valuable tool to help improve your cholesterol levels. Check out our air fryer review section if you need help choosing one of these cool kitchen appliances. We update this section regularly and feature air fryers to suit all budgets. Happy cooking!