Certain high cholesterol foods, including eggs and full-fat yogurt, can benefit your overall health. But others, such as processed meats, may raise your risk for heart disease and other serious health conditions.
Cholesterol in food is often misunderstood. Eating healthy high cholesterol foods is actually not harmful to most people. Some of these foods are even loaded with important nutrients.
This article explains why you should not fear cholesterol and lists 7 healthy food options, as well as 4 to avoid.
Here are 7 high cholesterol foods that are incredibly nutritious.
Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods you can eat, especially as a source of protein. They also happen to be high in cholesterol, with 1 large egg (50 grams [g]) delivering
There is also some
A single slice (22 g) of Swiss cheese provides around
One 12-week study in 139 people found that eating 3 ounces (oz), or 80 g, of full-fat cheese per day, which is considered a high intake, didn’t raise LDL cholesterol when compared with the same amount of low fat cheese or an equal number of calories from bread and jam.
A 3-oz (85-g) serving of canned shrimp provides
4. Pasture-raised steak
Pasture-raised steak is packed with protein and important vitamins and minerals.
A 4-oz (113-g) serving of pasture-raised steak has about
5. Organ meats
Cholesterol-rich organ meats — such as heart, kidney, and liver — are highly nutritious.
In addition to being loaded with nutrients, sardines are a convenient protein source.
One 3.75-oz (92-g) serving of these tiny fish contains
7. Full-fat yogurt
Eggs, cheese, shellfish, pastured steak, organ meats, sardines, and full-fat yogurt are cholesterol-rich, nutritious foods that make healthy additions to your diet.
While certain cholesterol-rich foods are highly nutritious and can be beneficial to your health, others can be harmful. Here are 4 high cholesterol foods that are best to limit or avoid.
8. Fried foods
Fried foods, such as deep-fried meats and cheese sticks, are high in cholesterol and worth avoiding whenever possible.
That’s because they’re high in calories and may contain trans fats, which can increase heart disease risk and be detrimental to your health in many other ways. High intake of fried foods
9. Fast food
Fast food intake is a major risk factor for numerous chronic conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
10. Processed meats
Processed meats, such as sausages, bacon, and hot dogs, are high cholesterol foods that you should limit in your diet.
A large review involving more than 614,000 participants associated each additional 2-oz (50-g) serving of processed meat per day with a
Cookies, cakes, ice cream, pastries, and other sweets tend to be high in cholesterol, added sugars, unhealthy fats, and calories.
It’s best to limit or avoid certain high cholesterol foods, such as fast food, processed meats, fried foods, and sugary desserts.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in our bodies and in animal products such as meat, eggs, and dairy. It’s
Your liver produces cholesterol, but you can also get it from eating animal-based foods. HDL (“good”) cholesterol helps your body excrete excess cholesterol, while LDL (“bad”) cholesterol is associated with plaque buildup in arteries.
When you consume extra cholesterol, your body
Is dietary cholesterol harmful?
Though dietary cholesterol may slightly affect cholesterol levels, this isn’t an issue for most people.
While research shows that it’s unnecessary for most people to avoid dietary cholesterol, keep in mind that not all cholesterol-containing foods are healthy.
Having high levels of LDL cholesterol
Certain lifestyle and dietary changes can lower your LDL levels and create a more favorable LDL-to-HDL ratio.
Here are healthy, evidence-based ways to lower your cholesterol levels:
- Eat more fiber: Research shows that eating more fiber may help lower LDL cholesterol levels.
- Increase physical activity: Becoming more physically active is an excellent way to
loweryour cholesterol levels.
- Try to lose weight: Losing excess body weight
can help loweryour LDL levels.
- Consider quitting smoking, if you smoke: Smoking
raisesLDL cholesterol levels.
- Eat more produce: People who eat more fruits and vegetables
tend to havelower LDL cholesterol levels.
Increasing your fiber intake, engaging in regular exercise, and quitting smoking are proven ways to lower your cholesterol levels.
Can drinking lots of water reduce cholesterol?
There is some
Does coffee affect your cholesterol?
Do bananas lower cholesterol?
How long does it take for cholesterol to go down?
It will likely take 3–6 months for your cholesterol to go down after you make appropriate diet and lifestyle changes. You can learn more about the time it takes to bring down your cholesterol.
Not all cholesterol-rich foods are created equal. While some, such as eggs and full-fat yogurt, are nutritious, others may harm your health.
Though it’s safe for most people to enjoy the healthy cholesterol-rich foods listed above, everyone should try to limit unhealthy high cholesterol foods such as fried foods, desserts, and processed meats.
Remember, just because a food is high in cholesterol doesn’t mean it can’t fit into a balanced diet.
Just one thing
Try this today: In addition to the tips above, there are numerous ways to effectively lower high cholesterol levels. Check out this article for 10 natural cholesterol-lowering strategies.