Having high cholesterol can be a frustrating health issue to live with. If your cholesterol levels aren’t taken care of, they can often lead to clogged arteries and further heart complications. Because of this, it’s important to monitor your levels and eat a diet rich in heart-healthy foods that can help you care for your cholesterol.
Cholesterol can be found in some foods, but it’s a common misconception to think that you’ll just need to avoid foods that contain cholesterol if you want to keep your levels in check. According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, it’s more important to look at the fat and carbohydrates you’re eating if you have high cholesterol.
This doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite foods, though. While many people may think that their favorite store-bought breads have to become a thing of the past, it’s actually more about avoiding the types that are unhealthy for you and sticking to the healthier varieties if you want to keep eating this popular carb.
“Wonder bread is terrible for cholesterol because it’s a white, highly processed bread that gets digested and absorbed extremely quickly, increasing blood sugars and the inflammation response in the body. This can potentially increase cholesterol levels further, and potentially triglyceride levels as well,” says Dana Ellis Hunnes, PhD, MPH, RD, a registered dietitian and author of Recipe for Survival.
“Kings Hawaiian bread may do a similar thing to your cholesterol as the Wonder Bread because it’s a white bread, it’s sweetened, and it can increase blood sugars, the insulin response, and inflammation, which may all increase triglycerides and possibly cholesterol,” says Hunnes.
“Brioche bread is usually made with fat-dense ingredients like eggs and butter. The more saturated fat that is in the bread, the more it will contribute to the cholesterol levels in your body. Because of this, I recommend avoiding most brioche varieties when watching your cholesterol,” says Morgyn Clair, MS, RDN, a registered dietitian and author at Fit Healthy Momma.
“Most of the Texas toast varieties on the market contain more fat calories than other types of bread. It is usually made with monoglycerides and digycerides, which come from soybean oil. I would recommend staying away from these if cholesterol is an issue for your health,” says Clair.
“Fiber is one primary way we can reduce our blood cholesterol through the food we eat, rather than the food we avoid. Fiber binds to cholesterol and removes it from the body. This is why certain breads are more beneficial than others based on their fiber content. Nature’s Own White Wheat is particularly harmful for cholesterol because it is low in fiber, while simultaneously making consumers believe it is healthy. By putting wheat in the name, it may be assumed that the fiber content is high, rather than being just 3 grams for a two-slice serving,” says Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD, a registered dietitian at Balance One Supplements.