What Foods are High in Cholesterol

Sometimes it is hard to determine what foods are high in cholesterol.

When you think of high cholesterol foods, you probably think of eggs, butter and meat. But did you know that cholesterol may be lurking in some of your favorite, otherwise healthy foods?

20100108 Sardines 002

Sardines are a food that's high in cholesterol.

Food made from animals, including meat, eggs, milk and cheese, contains cholesterol. The lean muscle and fat in meat are major cholesterol providers, and the skin of poultry is rich in cholesterol as well. Organ meats, such as liver or giblets, are famous in the nutritional world for having high amounts of cholesterol.

What Foods Are High in Cholesterol

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one cup of cooked turkey giblets contains 755 mg of cholesterol while a cup of cooked chicken giblets has 641. A 3-ounce portion of beef liver delivers 324 mg. One whole large raw egg contains 186 mg of cholesterol, getting almost all of the cholesterol from the yolk. Three ounces of shrimp or other crustacean adds 214 mg of cholesterol and an entire half-duck contains 197 mg.

One single oil-packed Atlantic Sardine contains 17 mg of cholesterol, the equivalent of one entire frozen spaghetti with meatballs entree.

Almost all processed meat is high in cholesterol.

The amount of cholesterol in processed meat depends largely on the cut of meat and the amount of fat added during processing. One bratwurst link provides 54 mg, about a fifth of the daily value for cholesterol.

Processed and baked foods typically contain high amounts of cholesterol, especially if the manufacturer mixes in a bunch of additives to improve texture and taste.

Restaurant Foods and Cholesterol

Fast food restaurants are a great source of unhealthy cholesterol foods. There are 290 mg of cholesterol wrapped into the typical fast food biscuit with egg and sausage. Grab a double hamburger and cup of chili for another 235 mg of cholesterol.

Think you'll avoid cholesterol by choosing a nice tossed salad instead of the greasy burger? Think again! While a tossed salad without dressing is one of the more nutritious choices in a fast food restaurant, adding in artificial bacon bits, croutons, and dressing make it a poor choice for both your cholesterol and waistline.

Cholesterol Foods in the Grocery Aisles

More cholesterol hides in the grocer's bread and dessert aisles. A decadent piece of pecan pie has about 106 mg, about the same as an innocent-looking piece of sponge cake.

The chip and cracker aisle is no better. Even though potato chips start out as cholesterol-free vegetables, food manufacturers can add cholesterol in the form of flavorings. Between naturally-occurring cholesterol in whole foods and trans fats in processed foods, it is nearly impossible to know exactly what foods are high in cholesterol and which ones are not.

As understanding of how cholesterol causes heart disease grows within the medical community, family practitioners are now changing how they view the relationship between a patient's diet and his risk for atherosclerosis.

Until recently, most doctors gave high-risk patients a list of high cholesterol foods to avoid. Now medical researchers are suggesting people avoid the foods that cause cholesterol to form and accumulate. Instead of being misled by all the misinformation out there, you might want to signup for our email tips below and make sure you avoid the common and frustrating mistakes.


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