Foods to Avoid for High Cholesterol
- Limit saturated fats and oils, such as butter, bacon drippings, lard, palm oil, and coconut oil. Instead, use soft tub margarine or vegetable oils, such as olive or canola oil.
- Avoid trans fats or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. These oils go through a process that makes them solid. They're found in some hard margarines, snack crackers, cookies, chips, and shortenings.
- Limit fatty meats such as corned beef, pastrami, ribs, steak, ground meat, hot dogs, sausage, bacon, and processed meats like bologna. Also limit organ meats like liver and kidney. Replace with skinless chicken or turkey, lean beef, veal, pork, lamb, and fish. Try some meatless main dishes, like beans, peas, pasta, or rice.
- Limit meat, poultry, and fish to no more than two servings, or 5 oz (140 g), a day. Remember that a serving is about the size of a deck of playing cards.
- Limit egg yolks.
- Limit milk products that contain more than 1% milk fat. This includes cream, most cheeses, and nondairy coffee creamers or whipped topping (which often contain coconut or palm oils). Instead try fat-free or low-fat milk (0% to 1% fat) and low-fat cheeses.
- Limit snack crackers, muffins, quick breads, croissants, and cakes made with saturated or hydrogenated fat, whole eggs, or whole milk. Try low-fat baked goods, and use any spreads or toppings lightly.
- Instead of using butter or margarine on bread, try dipping it in olive oil.
- Avoid fast foods like hamburgers, fries, fried chicken, and tacos. They are high in both total fat and saturated fat. When you eat out, choose broiled sandwiches or chicken without skin, salads with low-fat dressing, and foods that aren't fried. Ask the server to leave off the cheese and high-fat dressings like mayonnaise.
For help changing your diet, ask your doctor or a dietitian.
Other Works Consulted
- Krummel DA (2008). Medical nutrition therapy for cardiovascular disease. In LK Mahan, S Escott-Stump, eds., Krause's Food and Nutrition Therapy, 12th ed., pp. 833–864. St. Louis: Saunders Elsevier.
Last Revised: June 18, 2012
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