High cholesterol: Popular salad dressing ingredients could raise your levels – ‘avoid’

High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips

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Having too much of the bad kind of cholesterol (low-density lipoproteins or LDL) and not enough of the good kind (high-density lipoproteins or HDL) can lead to a build-up of plaque in your artery walls. Over time, this can lead to build-up in the heart and brain, too, which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke

Many people opting for a healthier lifestyle will choose salads to be incorporated into their diets.

A great start, however, many fail to realise how much fat their salad dressing may contain.

Salad dressings can add a great amount of flavour, but they are also high in saturated fat and sugar which can derail your lipid-lowering diet.

Cream-based dressings usually consist of milk, sour cream, mayonnaise, or cream as a base.

An average two-tablespoon serving of Caesar salad dressing for example contains around 140 calories and 14g of fat.

The dietary reference intake (DRI) for fat in adults is 20 percent to 35 percent of total calories from fat. That is about 44 grams to 77 grams of fat per day if you eat 2,000 calories a day.

It may not seem a lot but for those drenching their salads with dressing it can add up.

Also, dressing may be seen as empty calories and using your fat quota for the day could be spent with other foods which increase satiety.

According to Doctor Sarah Brewer and registered dietitian Juliette Kellow: “Artificial trans-fats raise bad cholesterol and lower good cholesterol levels.

“Avoid such fats, mostly hidden in processed foods or dressings.

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Another similar mistake many may make on their cholesterol-lowering diet, is coleslaw.

In theory it is healthy with carrots and cabbage being recommended daily vegetables.

However, once again, it’s the sneaky added ingredient of large amounts of mayonnaise that can wreak havoc on cholesterol levels.

Most traditional creamy coleslaw dressing is made with high fat ingredients and has sugar added too.

Part of what makes mayonnaise so controversial in the health and nutrition world is that it’s pretty high in saturated fat, at least when you consider how small a serving of mayonnaise is.

A tablespoon of mayonnaise has about 1.6 grams of saturated fat.

While that might not sound like much, it is for such a small amount.

Healthline noted: “One of the main reasons for recommending that saturated fat intake be kept to a minimum is the fact that saturated fat consumption may increase certain heart disease risk factors, including LDL (bad) cholesterol.” 

Switching from saturated fats to unsaturated fats like vegetable oils and opting for yogurt rather than mayonnaise in your coleslaw can help lower cholesterol levels when consumed as part of a balanced diet.

British Heart Foundation dietician Victoria Taylor advises: “Avoid salad dressing ingredients that are high in saturated fat, like sour cream, melted butter and blue cheese.

“But even unsaturated oils are still high in calories, so watch how much you use.

“When eating out, ask for the salad dressing on the side so you can control how much to add.

“Even better, use balsamic vinegar or a squeeze of lemon instead.”

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