Living with high LDL (bad) cholesterol, you’re at higher risk for heart attack and stroke. This doesn’t mean you have to banish every taste-bud indulgence from here till eternity. The key word is limiting, or cutting back on troublesome fatty foods. Now, if you find yourself at a best-of country kitchen in the Deep South with a piping-hot plate of fried chicken, by all means, dig in. Just don’t make it a habit, or send your body into a tailspin with a fried-okra side, shake, and banana split for dessert. Aim to eat an overall heart-healthy diet and relish the occasional splurge.

“You’re not just looking for foods low in cholesterol,” says  cardiologist Nieca Goldberg, MD, medical director of the Joan H. Tisch NYU Langone Center for Women’s Health and clinical associate professor of medicine at NYU’s School of Medicine, “but foods also low in saturated fats, trans fats, even sodium and added sugars.” While shifting to a healthy lifestyle, Goldberg suggests limiting these artery-clogging foods.

Cheeseburger

Yes, packed with juicy deliciousness but also high in saturated fats and cholesterol. You’ve got the fatty meat patty plus the dairy product cheese, both high in saturated fats. If you absolutely must have meat, skip the cheese (and sugary soda), and top generously with tomato and greens.

McDonald’s Big Mac: 550 calories; 29 g fat (including 10 g saturated fats, 1.5 g trans fats); 75 mg cholesterol; 1,000 mg sodium

Burger King Whopper: 670 calories; 39 g fat (including 10 g saturated fats, 1 g trans fat); 75 mg cholesterol; 970 mg sodium

Pepperoni Pizza

Mm, that gooey cheese (dairy) and greasy pepperoni (fatty processed meat) are oh-so-good and oh-so-high-in-saturated fats. If you’ve got a hankering, stick to cheese pizza and add veggie or fruit toppings to squeeze in nutrients (mushrooms, pineapple, green peppers, extra marinara anyone?).

Two slices Domino’s Classic Hand-Tossed Pepperoni Pizza: 420 calories; 17 g fat (including 7 g saturated fats); 30 mg cholesterol; 1,000 mg sodium

Two slices Domino’s Classic Hand-Tossed Cheese Pizza:  340 calories; 10 g fat including 5 saturated fats); 20 mg cholesterol; 720 mg sodium

French Fries

This classic fast-food fare is high in saturated fats and total fat. Fried foods are a no-no, even fish or shrimp (go broiled, grilled, or poached instead). Fries also tend to be loaded with trans fats, considered the worst offender among the fats. Still crave the crunch sensation? Cut sweet potatoes into wedges; coat with healthy-fat olive oil; bake 30 minutes; lightly sprinkle with sea salt. Voila—heart-friendly fries, or should we say bakes?

Other foods to limit:

  • Fried Chicken, Ribs, Steak
  • Ice Cream
  • Chips, Cookies, Crackers
  • Muffins

Found any sumptuous subs to replace the fatty foods You’re now limiting? Do Tell!