Low Cholesterol Foods

Low Cholesterol Foods: Animal Products

Any food that comes from an animal will have at least some cholesterol, but the amount of cholesterol in these foods varies, so there are animal-based low cholesterol foods. Let's look at low cholesterol foods by food group.
 
Fish, Poultry, and Meat Substitutes as Low Cholesterol Foods
Chicken and turkey are relatively low in saturated fat and cholesterol, especially when the skin is removed. Low cholesterol foods also include most fish. Fish also tend to be low in saturated fat.
 
While some types of shellfish would be classified as low cholesterol foods, others would not. But shellfish do have little saturated fat and total fat. Even shrimp can be enjoyed occasionally on a heart healthy diet, provided you eat less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol a day. For example, 3 ounces of steamed shrimp has 167 milligrams of cholesterol.
 
Remember: While fish and poultry may be considered low cholesterol foods, even the leanest meat, chicken, fish, and shellfish have saturated fat and cholesterol; limit the total amount you eat to 5 ounces or less per day.
 
Dry peas and beans and tofu (bean curd) are great meat substitutes, as they are low cholesterol foods. Dry peas and beans also have a lot of fiber, which can help to lower blood cholesterol (see Cholesterol Lowering Food).
 
Try adding a ½ cup of beans to pasta, soups, casseroles, and vegetable dishes. Tofu takes on the flavor of marinades well. Try marinating tofu in a nonfat dressing or a tangy sauce and grilling or baking for a heart healthy dish.
 
Eggs
Egg yolks are high in dietary cholesterol -- each contains about 213 milligrams. You should consume no more than 4 yolks per week. This includes the egg yolks in baked goods and processed foods. Read food labels carefully to see how much cholesterol the food contains, or ask the bakery if the recipe uses whole eggs. You should reserve foods containing whole eggs for occasional treats.
 
Egg whites have no cholesterol, and you can substitute them for whole eggs in recipes -- two egg whites are equal to one whole egg. You can also use cholesterol-free egg substitute in place of whole eggs -- in many baked goods, you can't tell the difference.
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