List of Foods to Avoid for High Cholesterol

{SCA} People with high cholesterol should avoid or limit their consumption of certain foods. Knowing which foods to avoid for high cholesterol is an important step, but it doesn’t end there.

Eating saturated fat and trans fat can raise cholesterol levels in the blood. Saturated fat is found in animal foods and some plant foods.

Cholesterol comes from animal products. Many foods contain both saturated fat and cholesterol. Food labels contain information about fat and cholesterol content.

It is recommended that you:

  • Avoid saturated fat and oils, such as butter, bacon drippings, lard, palm oil, and coconut oil. Palm and coconut oils are often found in processed foods. Replace these with soft tub margarine or vegetable oils, such as olive, safflower, soy, corn, canola, or peanut oil.
  • Limit trans fatty acids or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, such as those found in hard margarines, snack crackers, cookies, chips, and shortenings. Hydrogenation is a process that makes the fat solid or semisolid.
  • Limit fatty meats such as corned beef, pastrami, ribs, steak, ground meat, frankfurters, sausage, bacon, and processed meats like bologna. Limit high-cholesterol organ meats (liver and kidney) and egg yolks. Replace with skinless chicken or turkey, lean beef, veal, pork, lamb, fish, and meatless main dishes including beans, peas, pasta, or rice.
  • Limit servings of meat, poultry, and fish to 2 oz (56.7 g) to 3 oz (85.1 g) (a serving is about the size of a deck of playing cards), twice a day, or no more than 5 oz (141.8 g) a day.
  • Limit milk products that contain more than 1% milk fat, such as cream, most cheeses, and nondairy coffee creamers or whipped topping (which often contain coconut or palm oils). Replace with fat-free or low-fat milk (0% to 1% fat) and low-fat cheeses that contain fewer than 3 grams of fat per ounce.
  • Limit snack crackers, muffins, quick breads, croissants, and cakes made with extra fat, saturated or hydrogenated fat, whole eggs, or whole milk. Replace with low-fat baked goods and use the spreads lightly.
  • Instead of using butter or margarine on bread, try dipping it in olive oil.
  • Avoid fast foods (such as hamburgers, fries, fried chicken, and tacos), which are high in both total fat and saturated fat. When you eat out, choose broiled sandwiches or chicken without skin, salads with low-fat dressing, and foods that aren’t fried. Ask the server to leave off the cheese and high-fat dressings like mayonnaise.


Ask your doctor or a dietitian to recommend a good book for the full details, or see the other places to get help section of the topic High Cholesterol.