Foods to Avoid for People With High Cholesterol

Updated April 17, 2017

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, approximately 17 per cent of people in the United States have high blood cholesterol levels. High cholesterol is a primary factor in the development of heart disease. If you have high cholesterol, there are certain foods you should avoid eating in order to reduce your risk of heart attacks.

Prepare Your Home

Prepare your home to start using only foods with low cholesterol. This means you should get rid of any of the foods that have high cholesterol. Give them away to family members or friends. If they are not in your home, you will not be tempted to eat them.


Go grocery shopping with a shopping list. Without one, you may easily fall prey to buying things you should avoid. Stores and manufacturers encourage impulse buying because they know that product placement on shelves and at the checkout stand influences buying habits. If you have a list, you will not fall into their traps.
Read the labels of all processed and non-processed foods you buy. Do not buy processed food such as canned ravioli, canned soups made with milk or meat and frozen dinners. Look for processed foods made with unhydrogenated oils and without saturated fat.

Foods to Avoid

Meats Stop buying beef and beef products. This includes all forms of beef such as hamburger meat, roasts, steaks, beef hot dogs, liver or other byproducts, and processed luncheon meat made with beef. Avoid buying pork and pork byproducts. This group includes pork chops, bacon, sausage, pork roasts, pig feet, pork skins, and cold cuts or hot dogs containing pork. Poultry Buy chicken or turkey instead of lamb or veal. Chicken and turkey have much lower cholesterol levels, as long as you eat them without the skin. Fish Choose dark fish over light fish. Dark fish are salmon, herring, trout, mackerel and albacore tuna either fresh or packed in water. Avoid all shellfish, such as shrimp, oysters, clams and mussels. They have extremely high cholesterol levels. Eggs Buy egg substitutes instead of whole eggs and products made with whole eggs. You can use the substitutes for scrambled eggs, omelettes, recipes that call for eggs, and homemade salad dressings such as Caesar dressing. Check all labels in the store to find out which products have eggs, such as many bakery products, quiche, ice cream and casseroles. Buy only pasta made from whole wheat and with no eggs.
Milk and Milk Products Choose skimmed milk products only. Milk and all products made from it contain high cholesterol. This group includes ice cream, butter, yoghurt (nonfat yoghurt is OK) and all types of cheese. Milk has the extra calcium you need to stay healthy, so it is an important part of your diet. Other Foods Avoid buying or eating french fries, cookies, muffins, pies, doughnuts, crackers and cakes. Not only do most of them contain high cholesterol, but they also have high sugar levels. Buy non-fat mayonnaise, salad dressings and margarine. However, be careful when buying margarine. Make sure it has no trans-fat or cholesterol. Liquid margarine has less hydrogenated fat, so it is a good choice. Use only plant-based oils such as olive oil and canola. Do not use lard or grease from meats.

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About the Author

Ellie Kuykendall has been writing and editing professionally since 1997. Her travel and insurance articles have appeared in national magazines. She's contributed to four books and is currently writing her own book. She received a bachelor's degree from University of San Francisco.