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Cholesterol and the Holidays

With the holidays fast approaching, note that the following common foods can surprisingly worsen your cholesterol!

Ground turkey. Even when ground turkey is labeled as 85% lean, it has 12.5 grams of fat in a small serving size. Ground turkey breast can be a heart-healthy substitute for ground beef, but just watch the portion size because it still has some fat!

Sugars (like table sugar or high fructose corn syrup). One of the biggest surprises is that added sugars in processed and prepared foods are associated with lower HDL (good cholesterol). A 2010 study in The Journal of the American Medical Association found a link between sugars and cholesterol levels. Americans average at least 20 teaspoons of sugars on a daily basis!.

Mashed potatoes. Most mashed potatoes, especially the restaurant variety, have huge portions of butter, cream, whole milk, sour cream, and even cream cheese. It’s better to eat a plain baked potato and top it with vegetables, salsa, or low-fat sour cream.

Whole-fat dairy products. Dairy foods are loaded and even fortified w/extra calcium, protein and vitamins. But if your choice is whole milk or even certain greek yogurt brands, you could be getting an excess of saturated fat. Choose nonfat or low-fat instead. If you’re a cheese lover, just focus on smaller portions.

Movie popcorn. Not really a Holiday food, but thought I’d mention it anyways. A cinema medium-sized popcorn has 60 grams of saturated fat and around 1,200 calories! It’s cooked in fats and then topped off with more fat and butter. Yummy but deadly.

Michael Corsilles, ND, PA-C