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Top 10 Foods Highest in Cholesterol to Avoid

Written by Daisy Whitbread, MScN
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Top 10 Foods Highest in Cholesterol to Avoid

Cholesterol is a steroid lipid (fat) found in the blood of all animals and is necessary for proper functioning of our cell membranes and production of hormones. While there can be negative health effects associated with low cholesterol, cholesterol deficiency is rare. Our bodies already manufacture all the cholesterol we need, so it is not necessary to consume more.

Excessive consumption of cholesterol may increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, especially in certain groups which are sensitive to dietary cholesterol. (2)

Experiment with different diets, and use a Cholesterol Test Kit, so you can monitor your cholesterol levels at home and see which diet lowers your cholesterol.

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 OrderCholesterol per 100g
155% DV (465mg)58% DV (173mg)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Mcdonalds Big Breakfast

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 ServingCholesterol per 100g
140% DV (419mg)164% DV (493mg)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Lamb Liver (Cooked)
Most organ meats are high in cholesterol and should be avoided.
A Roast Chicken

#3: Fatty Meats (Chicken Leg)

Cholesterol per Roasted Leg (Thigh And Leg)Cholesterol per 100g
109% DV (328mg)42% DV (127mg)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Roasted Chicken Leg

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.

#4: Canned Shrimp

Cholesterol per CupCholesterol per 100g
108% DV (323mg)84% DV (252mg)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Canned Shrimp
Shrimp, like all seafood, have a high omega 3 to omega 6 ratio, making them heart healthy. Still, people should be aware that they have the most cholesterol of any fish or seafood.
Chocolate Mousse

#5: Desserts (Chocolate Mousse)

Cholesterol per 1/2 CupCholesterol per 100g
94% DV (283mg)47% DV (140mg)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Chocolate Mousse

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.

#6: Eggs

Cholesterol in 1 Large EggCholesterol per 100g
62% DV (187mg)124% DV (373mg)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Hard Boiled Eggs
While eggs are high in cholesterol, they are not considered unhealthy. Still, if you have high cholesterol, avoiding eggs, or limit yourself to 1 per day.
Ice-cream sunday with whipped cream

#7: Whipped Cream

Cholesterol per Cup WhippedCholesterol per 100g
44% DV (133mg)37% DV (111mg)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Light Whipping Cream
A strip of bacon

#8: Bacon

Cholesterol per 3 SlicesCholesterol per 100g
12% DV (36mg)33% DV (99mg)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Bacon (Pan-fried)

Other Processed Meats High in Cholesterol

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

#9: Cheese

Cholesterol per OzCholesterol per 100g
12% DV (35mg)41% DV (123mg)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Port De Salut Cheese
For more info, see the list of cheese low in cholesterol.

#10: Butter

Cholesterol per TblspCholesterol per 100g
10% DV (31mg)72% DV (215mg)
Source: Nutrition Facts for Salted Butter

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 cholesterol blood 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 - Excersise is an effective way to lower bad cholesterol levels (LDLs) and raise good cholesterol levels (HDLs). People who are not physically active are at risk for 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 avoid high cholesterol foods.

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View more food groups with the nutrient ranking tool, or see ratios with the nutrient ratio tool.

Data Sources and References

  1. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28.
  2. Dietary cholesterol, atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease
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