What foods are high in cholesterol?

what foods are high in cholesterol

Cholesterol is one of the most misunderstood substances. Some people believe that cholesterol-rich foods like eggs should be avoided because of concerns that they may increase the risk of heart disease. However, some recent studies show that the consumption of healthy foods that provide good HDL cholesterol is not harmful to human health. Let’s find out what foods are high in cholesterol in this article!

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a waxy substance commonly found in the human body and in animal products such as meat, eggs, and milk. It plays an important role in the production of hormones, vitamin D, and bile necessary for fat digestion. Besides, cholesterol is also an important component of every cell in the body, giving cell membranes strength and flexibility.

Normally, the liver makes all the cholesterol the body needs to function, but cholesterol can also be introduced into the body through the consumption of animal products. Because cholesterol does not interact well with the blood, it is transported by lipoprotein particles, including low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). In particular, LDL is often called bad cholesterol, which is related to the accumulation of plaque in the arteries; On the contrary, HDL is good cholesterol, which helps the body excrete excess cholesterol from the body.

When you consume more cholesterol, your body compensates by lowering your cholesterol naturally. Conversely, when the amount of cholesterol provided by the diet is low, the body will increase cholesterol production to ensure adequate levels of this important substance are always available.

In fact, only about 25% of the cholesterol in the body comes from food sources, with the rest being produced by the liver.

Is dietary cholesterol harmful?

Several studies have shown that dietary cholesterol does not significantly affect cholesterol levels in the body. In fact, about two-thirds of the world’s population experiences little or no sign of elevated cholesterol levels after eating cholesterol-rich foods, even in large amounts.

In contrast, a small number of people experience cholesterol uncompensation or overreaction and appear to be more susceptible to the effects of high-cholesterol foods. However, these cases are thought to be capable of recycling extra cholesterol back to the liver for excretion.

Besides, cholesterol in the diet also partly affects the ratio of LDL and HDL in the body – an indicator that helps to alert the risk of cardiovascular disease. Although nutritionists do not recommend that everyone avoid dietary sources of cholesterol, it should be noted that not all cholesterol-rich foods are healthy.

Here are healthy cholesterol-rich foods, and four that you need to limit or avoid:

Foods rich in good cholesterol


This is one of the extremely nutritious foods that you should choose. Because eggs contain high cholesterol, an average egg will provide about 211 mg of cholesterol, corresponding to 70% of the RDI (recommended intake)

Some people often tell each other to avoid eating a lot of eggs for fear that they can cause cholesterol levels to skyrocket. However, eggs do not actually have a negative effect on cholesterol levels, and eating an entire egg can help you raise your HDL (good) cholesterol levels to protect heart health.

In addition to providing good cholesterol, eggs are also an excellent source of protein with high absorption and healthful nutrients such as B vitamins, selenium, and vitamin A. that eating 1-3 eggs a day is completely safe for healthy people. In addition, Egg is listed as one of the best foods to help you sleep well.


28 grams of cheese can provide up to 27 mg of cholesterol, equivalent to 9% of the RDI. Although cheese is often associated with increased cholesterol levels in the body, some studies have shown that cheese is high in fat that does not negatively affect cholesterol levels.

Also, cheeses vary in nutrient content, but most cheeses provide a good amount of calcium, protein, B vitamins, and vitamin A. Because cheese is high in calories, you should use it. Use them with the recommended serving size of 1-2 ounces at a time.


Certain types of shellfish, including crab, clams, and shrimp are considered an excellent source of protein, B vitamins, iron, and selenium. In addition, they are also high in cholesterol, with a typical 85-gram serving of shrimp providing about 166 mg of cholesterol, which is more than 50% of the RDI.

Furthermore, shellfish also contains several bioactive ingredients, such as the antioxidants carotene and the amino acid taurine, which help prevent heart disease and lower bad LDL cholesterol.


Usually packed with protein, as well as other important vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12, zinc, selenium, and iron. In addition, it is lower in cholesterol than feedlot beef, while containing more omega-3 fatty acids, which have powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

In 112 grams of pasture-raised steak, about 62 mg of cholesterol, is equivalent to 20% of the RDI. Although processed meat has a strong relationship with heart disease, some studies have not found any link between red meat intake and the risk of cardiovascular disease.


As a nutritious and convenient source of protein, it can be easily prepared with a variety of dishes. 92 grams of sardines will contain about 131 mg of cholesterol, corresponding to 44% of the RDI for vitamin D, 137% of the RDI for B12, and 35% of the RDI for calcium. Furthermore, sardines are also rich in minerals like iron, selenium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, magnesium, and vitamin E.

Pure yogurt

Yogurt is full of fat, along with other healthy nutrients like protein, calcium, phosphorus, B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, and potassium.

One cup of plain yogurt (245 grams) provides about 31.9 mg of cholesterol or 11% of the RDI. Researchers have shown that consuming whole fermented dairy products can reduce bad cholesterol and high blood pressure, thereby preventing the risk of stroke, heart disease, and diabetes. In addition, fermented dairy products such as yogurt also provide many benefits for gut health by positively affecting the beneficial bacteria in the gut.

Foods high in cholesterol should be avoided

Fried food

Crispy meats and cheese sticks, for example, are both sources of high cholesterol, so you should avoid them often.

Most fried foods are high in calories, along with some trans fats that contribute to an increased risk of heart disease and negatively impact your overall health in a variety of ways. Moreover, consuming a lot of fried food also increases the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and obesity.

Fast food

Regular fast food consumption is a risk factor for many chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. People who tend to favor fast food often have higher cholesterol levels, more belly fat, higher levels of inflammation, and impaired blood sugar regulation.

Thus, consuming less processed foods and eating meals at home more often will significantly help you prevent risk factors for heart disease, especially high levels of LDL cholesterol.

Processed meat

For example, sausages and bacon are foods with high cholesterol, so their use should be limited. High consumption of processed meat is strongly linked to increased rates of heart disease and certain cancers such as colon cancer.

According to a review from nutritionists, when eating about 50 grams of processed meat per day can increase the risk of heart disease by up to 42%.


Including cookies, cakes, ice cream, and some other sweets are all unhealthy foods, high in cholesterol, sugar, unhealthy fats and calories.

Regularly enjoying these foods can negatively impact your overall health and lead to rapid weight gain. In addition, they are also linked to a number of dangerous diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, cognitive decline and cancers.

Furthermore, these foods also do not provide many essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, protein, and healthy fats that the body needs for optimal growth.

Ways to help lower bad cholesterol (LDL)

High levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) can lead to a buildup of cholesterol in the blood vessels, which in turn increases the risk of developing heart disease. Here are a few ways that can help you lower your bad cholesterol levels and balance your LDL-HDL ratio:

Add more fiber: Consuming more fiber, especially the soluble fiber found in fruits, beans and oats can effectively help lower LDL cholesterol levels.

Weight loss: Maintaining an appropriate weight is one of the ways to reduce bad cholesterol levels while promoting the production of good cholesterol in the body.

Give up unhealthy habits: People who smoke regularly have higher levels of bad cholesterol than others and are at a higher risk of cancer, heart disease, and emphysema. Therefore, giving up smoking is one of the effective ways to reduce bad cholesterol in the body.

Omega-3 supplements in the diet: Omega-3-rich foods like salmon, or omega-3 supplements like fish oil have been shown to effectively lower LDL levels and increase HDL levels.

Eat more fruits and vegetables: Consuming lots of fruits and vegetables regularly will help lower bad cholesterol levels, thereby making you less likely to have cardiovascular disease than other people.

Final thought

Make sure you follow the instructions above and include foods rich in good cholesterol in your daily diet to keep your overall health strong.

Top News hopes this article can help you learn more about what foods are high in cholesterol and wishes you all the best!

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