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Top 10 Foods Highest in Cholesterol to Avoid

Written by Daisy Whitbread, MScN
Powered by USDA Nutrition Data
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.

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List of Foods Highest in Cholesterol

1Fast Foods (McDonalds Big Breakfast)
Biscuits and Eggs

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
Most organ meats are high in cholesterol and should be avoided.
3Fatty Meats (Chicken Leg)
A Roast Chicken

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.
4Canned 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.
5Desserts (Chocolate Mousse)
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 elcair.
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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.
7 Whipped Cream
Ice-cream sunday with whipped cream
A strip of bacon

Other Processed Meats High in Cholesterol

-27% DV in 3oz of pepperoni
-21% DV in a pork bratwurst sausage
For more info, see the list of cheese low in cholesterol.
10 Butter

See All 200 Foods High in Cholesterol

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High Risk Groups for Dietary 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 - Excersize 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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