Foods High in Cholesterol
Saturated fat raises your LDL cholesterol level more than anything else in your diet. As part of a heart-healthy diet, it is recommended that people limit their intake of saturated fat to 7 to 10 percent of their diet. For people who already have high cholesterol, saturated fat intake should be less than 7 percent.
Saturated fats are found most frequently in animal-based foods, including:
- Processed meats (such as sausage, bologna, salami, and hot dogs)
- Egg yolks
- Whole-milk dairy products (such as milk, cream, cheese, and ice cream)
- Baked goods (store-baked goods are often made with egg yolks and saturated fats, and frequently contain trans fatty acids).
Some plant-based foods are also high in saturated fats, including:
- Coconut and coconut oil
- Palm oil
- Palm kernel oil.
Because these foods come from a plant, they are not considered foods high in cholesterol. Despite this, they can have a big impact on increasing blood cholesterol levels.
Trans fatty acids (also known as trans fats) are created when liquid vegetable oil is heated in the presence of hydrogen. This process is known as hydrogenation. The more hydrogenated an oil is, the harder it will be at room temperature and the more trans fat it will contain.
Trans fat is found in:
- Commercially baked goods
- Snack foods (cookies and crackers)
- Processed foods
- Fried foods (such as French fries or doughnuts).
Believe it or not, trans fats are even worse for cholesterol levels than saturated fat and cholesterol itself because they raise LDL (bad) cholesterol and lower HDL (good) cholesterol.
When reading food labels, look for the words "hydrogenated" or "partially hydrogenated" somewhere in the list of ingredients. These foods are loaded with trans fat and saturated fat. Also, look for the phrase "trans fat" on the food label. It's often found directly beneath "saturated fat."