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Top 10 Foods Highest in Cholesterol



Cholesterol is a steroid lipid (fat) found in the blood of all animals and is necessary for proper functioning of our cell membranes and production of hormones. While there can be negative health benefits associated with low cholesterol, cholesterol deficiency is rare. Our bodies already manufacture all the cholesterol we need, so it is not necessary to consume more. Excessive consumption of cholesterol has been shown to increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. Cholesterol is only found in animal food products, and thus, vegans are likely to have lower cholesterol than non-vegans. It is recommended that you buy a Cholesterol Test Kit, so you can monitor your cholesterol levels at home and see which diet works best for you. The current daily value (DV) for cholesterol is 300mg. Below is a list of high cholesterol foods, click here for an extended list of cholesterol rich foods. To lower your cholesterol, read the article on cholesterol lowering foods.

#1: Egg Yolk
Cholesterol 100g Per cup (243g)Per yolk (17g)
1085mg (362% DV) 2637mg (879% DV) 184mg (61% DV)
Other Eggs High in Cholesterol (%DV per egg): Goose Egg (409%), Turkey Egg (246%), Duck Egg (206%), Whole Hen’s Egg (62%), Quail’s Egg (25%), and Caviar, per tablespoon (31%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.



#2: Liver (Chicken)
Cholesterol 100g Per liver (44g)Per ounce (28g)
564mg (188% DV) 248mg (83% DV) 158mg (53% DV)
Other Types of Liver High in Cholesterol (%DV per ounce): Lamb’s Liver (47%), Beef Liver (37%), Chicken Liver Pâté (36%), Pork Liver (34%), Liver Pâté (24%), and Foie Gras (14%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.



#3: Fish & Fish Oils (Herring Oil)
Cholesterol 100g Per tablespoon (14g)Per teaspoon (5g)
766mg (255% DV) 107mg (36% DV) 38mg (13% DV)
Other Fish Oils and Fish High in Cholesterol (%DV per 3oz for fish, tablespoon for fish oils): Salted Cod (43%), Sardines, canned in oil (39%), Perch & Sardine Oil (33%), Sea Trout (30%), Herring (28%), Salmon & Cod Liver Oil (27%), Menhaden Oil (24%), and Salmon Oil (23%). While fish are high in cholesterol they are considered a heart healthy food. Click to see complete nutrition facts.



#4: Fast Foods (Egg & Bacon Biscuit)
Cholesterol 100g Per biscuit (150g)Per ounce (28g)
235mg (78% DV) 353mg (118% DV) 66mg (22% DV)
Other Fast Foods High in Cholesterol (%DV per piece or serving): McDonald’s Big Breakfast (155%), English Muffin with Egg, Cheese & Sausage (90%), Egg Biscuit (82%), Croissant with Egg, Cheese & Bacon (72%), Egg McMuffin (69%), Fried Chicken (55%), Hamburger (47%), Milkshake (13%), and Fried Fish (10%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.



#5: Animal Fats & Oils (Butter)
Cholesterol 100g Per stick (113g)Per tablespoon (14g)
215mg (72% DV) 243mg (81% DV) 30mg (10% DV)
Other Animal Fats High in Cholesterol (%DV per tablespoon): Whipped Butter (7%), Light Butter & Beef Tallow (5%), Shortening, Goose Fat, Duck Fat & Lard (4%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.



#6: Shellfish & Seafood (Shrimp)
Cholesterol 100g Per 3oz (85g)Per 4 large (22g)
211mg (70% DV) 179mg (60% DV) 46mg (15% DV)
Other Shellfish & Seafood High in Cholesterol (%DV per 3oz cooked): Calamari (74%), Canned Shrimp (71%), Lobster (41%), Crayfish (39%), Whelks (37%), Oysters (28%), Octopus & Crab (27%), Clams (19%), Mussels (16%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.



#7: Processed Meats (Bacon)
Cholesterol 100g Per ounce (28g)Per rasher (9g)
111mg (37% DV) 31mg (10% DV) 10mg (3% DV)
Other Processed Meats High in Cholesterol (%DV per ounce): Beef Sticks (12%), Blood Sausage (11%), Salami & Pepperoni (10%), Pork Sausage & Ham (9%), Turkey Bacon & Corned Beef (8%), Italian Salami, Luncheon Meat, Frankfurter & Bratwurst (7%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.



#8: Red Meat (Lean Veal, cooked)
Cholesterol 100g Per piece (174g)Per 3oz (85g)
158mg (53% DV) 275mg (92% DV) 134mg (45% DV)
Other Red Meat High in Cholesterol (%DV per 3oz, cooked): New Zealand Lamb (36%), Rabbit (35%), Lamb Shoulder, Beef Pot Roast & Pork Ribs (34%), Venison (32%), Beef Brisket & Pork Loin (30%), Beef Tenderloin & Sirloin Steak (28%), and Duck (26%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.



#9: Cheese (Port de Salut)
Cholesterol 100g Per cup, shredded (113g)Per ounce (28g)
123mg (41% DV) 139mg (46% DV) 34mg (11% DV)
Other Cheeses High in Cholesterol (%DV per ounce): Fontina & Gouda (11%) Cream Cheese, Cheddar, Gruyere, Hard Goat’s Cheese, Romano, Mexican Cheeses & Tilsit (10%), Colby, Brie, Gjetost & Swiss (9%), Edam, Roquefort, Feta & Monterey (8%), Mozzarella (7%), and Parmesan (6%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.



#10: Cakes, Pies & Cookies (Made with eggs/animal fats) (Sponge Cake)
Cholesterol 100g Per piece (63g)Per ounce (28g)
170mg (57% DV) 107mg (36% DV) 48mg (16% DV)
Other Cakes, Pies & Cookies High in Cholesterol (%DV per piece): Danish Pastries (54%), Cream Puffs (43%), Pecan Pie (35%), Éclairs (31%), Ladyfingers (8%), Brownies (6%), and Butter Cookies (2%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.






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Other Cholesterol Rich Foods
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Rotisserie Chicken 160mg (53%) per 100 gram serving 136mg (45%) per 3oz (85 grams) 85mg (28%) per drumstick (53 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Rotisserie Chicken
Turkey (Dark Meat, cooked)** 134mg (45% DV) per 100 gram serving 114mg (38% DV) per 3oz (85 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Turkey
Beef Stick Snacks*133mg (44% DV) per 100 gram serving27mg (9% DV) per stick (20 grams)37mg (12% DV) per ounce (28 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Smoked Beef Stick Snacks
Pepperoni (Beef, Pork, and Turkey)*105mg (35% DV) per 100 gram serving2mg (1% DV) per slice (2 grams)29mg (10% DV) per ounce (28 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Pepperoni
Pork Chops (Cooked)**73mg (24%) per 100 gram serving 106mg (35%) per chop (145 grams) 62mg (21%) per 3oz (85 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Pork Chops
Pork Ribs**118mg (39% DV) per 100 gram serving258mg (86% DV) per pound (219 grams)100mg (33% DV) in a 3 ounce serving (85 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Roasted Pork Back-ribs
Pizza (Cheese Thin Crust) 39mg (8%) per 100 gram serving 141mg (47%) per 1/2 pie (362 grams) 19mg (6%) per slice (48 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Pizza
Sauces & Gravies (Cheese Sauce) 29mg (10% DV) per 100 gram serving 18mg (6% DV) per 1/4 cup (63 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Sauces & Gravies
Mashed Potatoes (With Butter & Milk) 14mg (5% DV) per 100 gram serving 29mg (10% DV) per cup (210 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Mashed Potato
Crayfish133mg (44% DV) per 100 gram serving113mg (38% DV) in a 3 ounce serving (85 grams)38mg (13% DV) per ounce (28 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Wild Caught Crayfish
Whelk130mg (43% DV) per 100 gram serving111mg (37% DV) in a 3 ounce serving (85 grams)37mg (12% DV) per ounce (28 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Whelk
Crab Cakes*150mg (50% DV) per 100 gram serving180mg (60% DV) in two crab cakes (120 grams)90mg (30% DV) per crab cake (60 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Crab Cakes (Blue Crab)
Chocolate Mousse*140mg (47% DV) per 100 gram serving566mg (188% DV) per cup (404 grams)283mg (94% DV) in a half-cup (202 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Chocolate Mousse
Snack and Candy Bars*136mg (45% DV) per 100 gram serving38mg (13% DV) in a 1 ounce bar (28 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Snack and Candy Bars
Toffee104mg (35% DV) per 100 gram serving48mg (16% DV) in 4 pieces (48 grams)12mg (4% DV) per piece (12 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Toffee
Souffle118mg (39% DV) per 100 gram serving320mg (106% DV) in two cups (272 grams)160mg (53% DV) per cup (136 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Spinach Souffle
French Toast 116mg (39%) per 100 gram serving 75mg (25%) per slice (65 grams) 32mg (11%) per ounce (28 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for French Toast
Ice Cream92mg (31% DV) per 100 gram serving196mg (66% DV) per cup (214 grams)98mg (33% DV) in a half-cup (107 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Vanilla Ice Cream
Heavy Whipping Cream137mg (46% DV) per 100 gram serving326mg (109% DV) per cup cream (~2 cups whipped) (238 grams)164mg (55% DV) per cup whipped (120 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Heavy Whipping Cream
Whole Milk (3.25% Milkfat)10mg (3% DV) per 100 gram serving24mg (8% DV) per cup (244 grams)3mg (1% DV) in a fluid ounce (31 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Whole Milk
*Amount of cholesterol may vary greatly between products. Be sure to check nutrition labels for the exact amount of cholesterol in each individual product.
**Amount of cholesterol varies greatly between cuts. Ask for low-fat lean cuts which will greatly reduce the amount of cholesterol. For chicken and turkey white meat has less cholesterol and fat than dark cuts such as the leg and thigh.
For more High Cholesterol Foods use the Nutrient Ranking Tool.

▼ High Risk Groups who need to limit or eliminate Cholesterol Consumption
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  • Individuals with a family history of high cholesterol - Regulation of cholesterol blood levels are hereditary and it is advisable to find out if relatives have high cholesterol levels.
  • Older Adults - Cholesterol levels rise with age, particularly in post-menopausal women.
  • Over weight Individuals - Being over-weight increases risk of heart-disease and tends to colerate with high cholesterol levels.
  • People with Low Physical Activity Levels - Excersize is an effective way to lower bad cholesterol levels (LDLs) and raise good cholesterol levels (HDLs). People who are not physically active are at risk for high cholesterol levels.
  • Individuals with high blood pressure - High blood pressure in combination with high cholesterol levels greatly increases the risk of heart disease and heart attacks.
  • Smokers - Individuals who smoke cigarettes have a higher risk of heart disease and should avoid high cholesterol foods.

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▼ References
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  1. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 20-26.
  2. National Institutes of Health Cholesterol Education Program