Cholesterol is a lipid fat that is produced by the liver. Contrary to popular view, cholesterol is vital for normal body function, particularly in producing hormones and regulating cell membranes. But because our body is capable of producing cholesterol, deficiency in this nutrient is rare. Eating foods, especially animal-based products, which are high in cholesterol, is associated with a number of health problems, including heart disease.
Here is the list of ten foods highest in cholesterol. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to avoid them completely as they may also contain other essential nutrients. Just as the old saying goes – moderation is the key.
Topping our list is egg yolk, which happens to contain the highest amount of cholesterol. A 100-gram serving of egg yolks contain 1234mg of cholesterol, which is almost four times the recommended daily intake (300mg). But eggs are relatively healthy. They are high in protein and choline which all promote weight loss. So you don’t really want to totally ban it from your diet. If you just want protein, just eat the egg whites. Or, if you eat the entire egg for breakfast, avoid eating any other high-cholesterol foods later in the day.
Butter can make almost any dish perfect in taste but beware – it isn’t just high in cholesterol but also in saturated fats. 100-gram butter contains 215mg of cholesterol. One stick has more – 243mg.
Breakfast meals in particular, such as ham, egg, and cheese, are packed with cholesterol. Add the cheeseburgers, crispy fries, and fried chicken. Yes, they sound so tasty but they are generally unhealthy. And not to mention the saturated fats, calories, sugar, salt and other food additives that aren’t good for your body. Chicken is supposed to be a low-fat meat choice but when you coat it with artificial flavourings and let it swim in vegetable oil, you overthrow its benefits.
If you’re watching your cholesterol levels, caviar should be a rare treat. While bread is sometimes incomplete with caviar, this spread contains whopping 588mg of cholesterol! Nonetheless, it is rich in vitamins A and D, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Seafood is generally high in cholesterol but on top of the list are shrimps. 100g of this all-time favourite seafood contains 195mg of cholesterol. Well, expect the figure to go up once you rub the shrimp with butter or dip it in mayonnaise.
As mentioned, cholesterol is produced in the liver. Therefore, expect tons of cholesterol in it. Three ounces of cooked liver has 331mg which is again, a little more than the daily allowable value. You may want to skip this portion and choose lean cuts of meat instead.
The amount of cholesterol in processed meat depends on the portion used, and the amount of fats added in the processing. Liver sausage has the highest count – 158mg per 100-gram serving. In terms of meat, lamb and duck score the most.
Cheese is a great addition to almost any dish. It is a good source of protein and calcium too. But you don’t want to overdo your consumption of this tasty stuff because a 100-gram serving contains around 123mg of cholesterol.
Wild eastern chowders contain the highest cholesterol levels, with 105mg per 100-gram serving. You also want to limit your intake of clams and mussels. Although they are good for you, oil packed fish contains a little bit more of cholesterol. A can of sardines for instance has 142mg of cholesterol.
Ice cream is one of the most popular frozen desserts out there but you want to slow down your consumption a bit. Here’s the thing – a cup of ice cream has more fats than a hamburger and more cholesterol than 10 glazed doughnuts!
Other foods, especially those containing trans fats, could turn into high-cholesterol treats as well. So make it a habit to read food labels. The lesser the amount of fats and cholesterol are, the better. Maintaining your cholesterol level is just a small part of the picture. There are many other things necessary to keep your heart healthy. These include exercising, maintaining a balanced diet, reducing sugar intake, and regulating stress.
If you struggle, take expert advice with our weight loss management programmes. Take online and self-managed techniques to understand your daily calorie intake and expenditure, or come in to the Southampton suite with free weekly weigh ins, advice and support when purchasing Cambridge Weight Plan products. Alternatively,if you're in a rush to fit into that suit, come in for a Quickslim Body Wrap.
Best wishes, Steve