Cholesterol doesn’t just come from food. It also naturally occurs in cells of the human body. It helps us with digestion as well as hormone and vitamin D production. Having high LDL cholesterol levels can put you more at risk for heart disease. It can contribute to artery blockage, which limits blood flow to and from your heart or brain. This can cause a heart attack or stroke. Eating large portions of mashed potato may be increasing your levels to dangerous highs.
Mashed potatoes themselves are not unhealthy, however mashed potatoes with butter, sour cream, and milk can increase calories and may increase your risk of high cholesterol.
These all add fats to the potatoes, and trans or saturated fats are known to contribute to high cholesterol levels.
That doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy potatoes, but experts recommend baking your potato, and try using a healthier butter alternative or some olive oil on top instead.
When making mashed potatoes, add skim milk and low- or no-fat Greek yogurt to give them a little creaminess. Use spices like oregano, pepper, or garlic for flavour.
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Nutrient consultant Marisa Moore claimed that mashed potatoes could raise cholesterol levels.
“Most mashed potatoes, especially at restaurants, include hefty portions of butter, cream, whole milk, sour cream, and/or cream cheese,” she said.
“This turns a perfectly healthy potato into a saturated fat bomb.
“Order a plain baked potato and top it with vegetables, salsa, or low-fat sour cream.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, useful tips when trying to lower your cholesterol levels include:
- Eating lots of healthy, heart-boosting foods, such as fibrous whole grains, healthy fats, and foods high in omega-3 fatty acids
- Limiting intake of partially hydrogenated oils, fried foods, and foods containing trans fats
- Eating plenty of fruit and vegetables
- Replacing fatty meats with lean meats, such as chicken, and fish
- Including fibrous and protein-rich plant sources, including lentils and beans, in the diet
- Exercising for at least 30 minutes every day
- Limiting alcohol intake
- Quitting smoking
- Trying to maintain a healthy weight