What Foods Not to Eat for High Cholesterol?

Many foods raise cholesterol, so avoiding them is essential for overall health. In addition to avoiding fatty meats, eggs, and processed foods, you should avoid full-fat dairy products and fried foods. Read on to learn more about these foods and avoid them altogether. Also, make sure you eat plenty of vegetables and whole grains daily and limit your intake of refined carbohydrates.

What Foods Not to Eat for High Cholesterol?

Avoiding Fried Meals

The American Heart Association supports the recommendation that most people restrict their dietary intake of cholesterol. Reducing trans fats is frequently added to this advice, though. Most fried meals contain high cholesterol levels, including fries, onion rings, and fried shrimp. Additionally, since the liver and intestines are particularly high in fat and raise the risk of heart attacks, it’s crucial to restrict your intake of organic meat.

Even if there is a very minimal quantity of saturated fat, it’s still crucial to keep your intake in check. Less than 10% of total calories is the recommended percentage. If you must eat fried foods, swap them out for unsaturated fats in healthy foods like olive oil, nuts, seeds, and legumes. Steer clear of trans fats, common in packaged and fried foods. Trans fats cause HDL cholesterol to decrease while LDL cholesterol rises. Numerous health issues are correlated with high trans fat consumption.

An improved option is skinless roasted chicken or turkey, baked potatoes, or baked “fries” mixed with olive oil. Consider using an air fryer for “fried” food that tastes lower in fat.

Avoiding Processed Meats

You might be asking if you should avoid processed meats if you have high cholesterol. Even though consuming meat may lower cholesterol, you should restrict your intake, especially if you follow a cholesterol-lowering diet. Making the appropriate choice is made easier by using the following advice. Here are a few advantages of meat consumption. But it’s crucial to think about how much of your entire diet should be made up of meat before you make your choice.

Saturated fats from red meat are a great source and can elevate cholesterol. Instead, opt for skinless chicken or fish, which have lower cholesterol levels and saturated fat than most cuts. Another meat that can be difficult to resist is steak, but select thinner portions. Lean beef cuts, such as sirloin tips and top and bottom rounds, can be incorporated into your diet.

Avoiding Full-Fat Dairy Products

The widespread misconception that full-fat dairy products are bad for the heart first gained traction in the 1980s. The dietary fat movement gained traction due to individuals switching to low-fat goods. Even if dietary fat has a purpose, new evidence dispels this notion. Dairy products are less dangerous than previously thought and may benefit heart health thanks to their saturated fat content.

Although meals made from animals are sometimes criticized for contributing to high cholesterol, the truth is that they contain various vital elements, such as protein, calcium, and antioxidants. While avoiding full-fat dairy products is not a foolproof plan, it is preferable to restrict your intake.

Dairy-based sweets frequently include more sugar and fat than other desserts, so if you have high cholesterol, you might also want to avoid them. With 11 necessary amino acids and 6g of protein, eggs are another excellent source of protein.

Avoiding Eggs

Years of media promotion of the advantages of eating eggs have lately changed, according to a study by researchers with the British Heart Foundation. Despite the promotion of the advantages of egg intake, the study’s absence of a clear cause-and-effect connection makes the consequences of egg consumption ambiguous. 

Eggs can increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels even if they do not directly produce high cholesterol. Limiting the number of daily eggs consumed by those with elevated cholesterol can be helpful. Keeping egg consumption to 200 mg daily for those at high risk of cardiovascular disease can reduce that risk.

Sweets and Baked Products

Typically made with butter or shortening, cookies, cakes, and doughnuts are high in saturated fat and cholesterol.

They also frequently include a lot of sugar, which can raise blood triglyceride levels and increase the risk of coronary heart disease. Triglycerides are harmful to blood lipids.

Make your desserts at home instead, sticking to recipes that don’t require a lot of butter or shortening. This enables you to alter recipes and use only half or three-quarters of the recommended amount of sugar. Additionally, you can eat baked fruit as a dessert or use applesauce instead of butter or eggs while baking.

What Causes High Cholesterol?

High Cholesterol Has Several Reasons, Such As High consumption of foods high in harmful fats (trans and saturated fats), including fatty meats, deli meats, butter, cream, ice cream, coconut oil, and palm oil, as well as the majority of deep-fried takeout items and commercially baked goods (such as pies, biscuits, buns, and pastries).

Low consumption of foods high in beneficial fats, which tend to raise levels of HDL (good) cholesterol Avocado, nuts, seeds, olives, salmon, cooking oils derived from plants or seeds, and other foods rich in healthful fats are also available.

Low Consumption of Fiber-Rich Meals: Consuming foods high in dietary fiber, particularly soluble fiber, helps lower blood levels of the harmful LDL cholesterol. Choose fiber-rich foods daily, including veggies, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

  • Very Little Exercise and Physical Activity
  • Having too much belly fat, being overweight, or being obese
  • A high cholesterol level might result from smoking.

Your family history and genetic makeup may influence your cholesterol level. Several persons with high cholesterol or heart disease may receive early diagnoses in some families (men below 55 years and women below 65 years). Genetic factors, including a genetic disease called familial hypercholesterolemia, can contribute to this kind of trend. If you suspect you may be impacted, it is best to consult your doctor as soon as possible.

Alcohol abuse can raise your triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Some medical disorders, such as kidney and liver illness and an underactive thyroid gland, can raise cholesterol levels (hypothyroidism). High blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol are common co-morbidities. Cholesterol levels can also rise due to some medications you take for other health issues.

What to Eat if you have High Cholesterol?

These foods with high cholesterol can be incorporated into a heart-healthy diet:


Cholesterol levels vary across different varieties of shellfish. Shrimp is famously high in cholesterol. A 3-ounce portion of shrimp contains more than half of your daily recommended cholesterol intake, yet it has almost no saturated fat. In addition, shellfish is a good source of selenium, zinc, B vitamins, and protein.

Fatty Meat

While low in saturated fat, several types of lean meat are high in cholesterol, these include tripe, sweetbreads, heart, liver (including liver pate), kidney, and liver. These meats may not be your favorite, but they are still preferable to process and red meat.

Even so, some items, particularly eggs and shellfish, should be consumed in moderation. “They may have nutritional advantages that exceed the presence of cholesterol. However, if you have high cholesterol, consume these meals in moderation. Maintain a weekly consumption of either two servings of shellfish or four egg yolks.

Why Should you Avoid Cholesterol?

The bloodstream carries cholesterol, and too much of it can harm your body, particularly your heart. Your heart disease or stroke risk can increase if you have high “bad” cholesterol levels.

Plaque, a deposit on the blood vessel walls, can occur when there is too much LDL cholesterol in your body. This accumulation makes the blood arteries smaller, which prevents the blood from flowing normally through the body and may lead to a heart attack or other issues. Because of this, medical professionals advise taking no more than 300 mg of dietary cholesterol daily.

Additionally, cholesterol passes throughout the central nervous system and is necessary for typical brain function. However, too much of it could negatively affect memory and learning. More research is required in this area. However, statin medication used to lower cholesterol may enhance memory.

What is the Difference Between Good and Bad Cholesterol?

Remember that the foods suggested above work to lower LDL, or bad cholesterol, levels. High cholesterol is typically associated with ill health brought on by LDL. However, a substitute known as HDL (high-density lipoprotein) is regarded as healthy cholesterol.

It is crucial that your LDL levels are low and your HDL levels are high when you get your blood tested. Proteins are taken up by HDL and sent to the liver for breakdown and removal as waste. Some foods are excellent providers of HDL, including fatty fish, cereals, legumes, and diets high in fiber and olive oil.


The effects of chicken on cholesterol will depend on the part of the cooked bird and the preparation method. The truth is that chicken naturally has less fat and cholesterol than most cuts. A chicken’s thighs, wings, and legs have the most cholesterol, followed by the breast, thighs, and breast.