Top 10 Foods Highest in Cholesterol

Top 10 Foods Highest in Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a steroid lipid (fat) present in the blood, necessary for the proper functioning of cell membranes and the production of vitamin D and certain hormones.

Cholesterol deficiency is rare, as our bodies manufacture the cholesterol we need. High cholesterol levels on the other hand, increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and other health problems.

When we consume foods rich in cholesterol, our bodies tend to reduce the production of cholesterol in response, in an attempt to keep levels stable. A diet high in total fat, saturated fat, processed trans fats and low in fibre, along with being overweight, lack of exercise, smoking and high alcohol consumption is believed to lead to high cholesterol. There are also certain genes that cause people to have raised cholesterol.

Consumption of cholesterol in foods is therefore not the main factor, but there may beĀ certain groups of people who are sensitive to dietary cholesterol. (2)

High cholesterol foods include fast foods, liver, fatty meats, canned shrimp, desserts, eggs, whipped cream, bacon, cheese, and butter. The current daily value (DV) for cholesterol is 300mg.

Below is a list of high cholesterol foods. To lower your cholesterol, read the article on cholesterol lowering foods.


List of Foods Highest in Cholesterol

Biscuits and Eggs

#1: Fast Foods (McDonalds Big Breakfast)

Cholesterol
per Order
Cholesterol
per 100g
Cholesterol
per 200 Calories
465mg
(155% DV)
173mg
(58% DV)
121mg
(40% DV)

More Fast Foods High in Cholesterol

-118% DV in an egg and bacon biscuit
-63% DV in a Double Whopper with Cheese

See all fast foods high in cholesterol.
Slices of liver cheese

#2: Liver

Cholesterol
per 3oz Serving
Cholesterol
per 100g
Cholesterol
per 200 Calories
419mg
(140% DV)
493mg
(164% DV)
414mg
(138% DV)
Most organ meats are high in cholesterol and should be limited.
A Roast Chicken

#3: Fatty Meats (Chicken Leg)

Cholesterol
per Roasted Leg (Thigh And Leg)
Cholesterol
per 100g
Cholesterol
per 200 Calories
328mg
(109% DV)
127mg
(42% DV)
138mg
(46% DV)

More Fatty Meats High in Cholesterol

-59% DV in a pork chop with fat
-42% DV in a rack of pork spare ribs
-40% DV in a single chicken wing

See the full list of high cholesterol meats.
Shrimp

#4: Canned Shrimp

Cholesterol
per Cup
Cholesterol
per 100g
Cholesterol
per 200 Calories
323mg
(108% DV)
252mg
(84% DV)
504mg
(168% DV)
Shrimp, like all seafood, have a high omega 3 to omega 6 ratio, making them heart-healthy.
Chocolate Mousse

#5: Desserts (Chocolate Mousse)

Cholesterol
per 1/2 Cup
Cholesterol
per 100g
Cholesterol
per 200 Calories
283mg
(94% DV)
140mg
(47% DV)
124mg
(41% DV)

More High Cholesterol Desserts

-39% DV in 1/2 cup of egg custard
-33% DV in 1/2 cup of ice-cream
-25% DV in a cream filled eclair.
Eggs

#6: Eggs

Cholesterol
in 1 Large Egg
Cholesterol
per 100g
Cholesterol
per 200 Calories
187mg
(62% DV)
373mg
(124% DV)
481mg
(160% DV)
While eggs do contain cholesterol, they are not believed to raise cholesterol levels as part of a balanced diet. If you have high cholesterol, limiting yourself to 1 egg per day is advisable as a precautionary measure.
Ice-cream sunday with whipped cream

#7: Whipped Cream

Cholesterol
per Cup Whipped
Cholesterol
per 100g
Cholesterol
per 200 Calories
133mg
(44% DV)
111mg
(37% DV)
76mg
(25% DV)
A strip of bacon

#8: Bacon

Cholesterol
per 3 Slices
Cholesterol
per 100g
Cholesterol
per 200 Calories
36mg
(12% DV)
99mg
(33% DV)
42mg
(14% DV)

Other Processed Meats High in Cholesterol

-27% DV in 3oz of pepperoni
-21% DV in a pork bratwurst sausage
Cheese

#9: Cheese

Cholesterol
per Oz
Cholesterol
per 100g
Cholesterol
per 200 Calories
35mg
(12% DV)
123mg
(41% DV)
70mg
(23% DV)
For more info, see the list of cheese low in cholesterol.
Butter

#10: Butter

Cholesterol
per Tblsp
Cholesterol
per 100g
Cholesterol
per 200 Calories
31mg
(10% DV)
215mg
(72% DV)
60mg
(20% DV)

See All 200 Foods High in Cholesterol

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Printable list of foods high in cholesterol.

High Risk Groups for High Blood Cholesterol

  • Individuals with a family history of high cholesterol - Regulation of blood cholesterol levels is hereditary and it is advisable to find out if relatives have high cholesterol levels.
  • Older Adults - Cholesterol levels rise with age, particularly in post-menopausal women.
  • Over-weight Individuals - Being over-weight increases risk of heart disease and tends to correlate with high cholesterol levels.
  • People with Low Physical Activity Levels - Exercise is an effective way to lower bad cholesterol levels (LDLs) and raise good cholesterol levels (HDLs). People who are not physically active are more likely to have high cholesterol levels.
  • Individuals with high blood pressure - High blood pressure in combination with high cholesterol levels greatly increases the risk of heart disease and heart attacks.
  • Smokers - Individuals who smoke cigarettes have a higher risk of heart disease and should monitor their cholesterol levels carefully.

View more food groups with the nutrient ranking tool, or see ratios with the nutrient ratio tool.
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Data Sources and References

  1. U.S. Agricultural Research Service Food Data Central
  2. Dietary cholesterol, atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease

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