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14 Foods To Avoid With High Cholesterol


Regular consumption of foods that are high in cholesterol could be terrible for your health. The problems of cardiovascular diseases may increase with high cholesterol levels in your body.

Although having a cholesterol level within limits could be a boon to your body because cholesterol produces hormones, proteins, and other essential molecules. 

For this very reason, a balance between high cholesterol and low cholesterol is essential. As a result, If you have high cholesterol, consuming foods that lower cholesterol is always recommended. This diet may include plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is necessary.

List Of Foods To Avoid With High Cholesterol

Unfortunately, not all foods are good for your heart health. To avoid high cholesterol levels and heart disease, avoid these foods-

  1. Fried Food

    One of the most common foods that have high cholesterol is fried food. This includes food that is cooked in oil or a coating.

    Examples include french fries, chicken nuggets, and doughnuts. While these foods may taste great, they are not good for your health[1].

    Fried food can increase your bad cholesterol levels and cause heart problems in the long run. If you want to eat fried food, try to make it at home using healthier oils or coatings.

  2. Processed Meats

    Eating processed meats can increase your risk of developing high cholesterol. This is because processed meats contain artery-clogging fats and chemicals.

    If you are at risk for high cholesterol, it’s important to avoid these foods. Instead, eat lean sources of protein such as poultry, fish, and beans.

    They also contain nitrates, which can increase your risk[2] of heart disease. If you can’t abstain from processed meat altogether, try to limit yourself to less-processed versions.

  3. Sweets

    Foods that are high in sugar and carbohydrates are bad for your cholesterol. This includes sweets like cake, ice cream, pies, and candy.

    It’s also important to avoid processed foods, which are full of sugar. These include boxed foods, restaurant food, and some types of bread.

    Not only is sugar bad for your heart, but it can also raise your blood sugar levels and cause weight gain. To make sure you’re eating healthily, try to stick to foods that are low in sugar.

    A study[3] says to avoid sugary food and switch to a diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources to avoid cardiovascular diseases.

  4. Fish

    If you have high cholesterol, you should avoid fish that are high in mercury like tuna, swordfish, and king mackerel.

    These fish contain methylmercury which can increase the risk of heart disease, as per research[4].

    You can also reduce your exposure to mercury by eating foods from the plant kingdom, such as fruits and vegetables.

    Other foods that contain high levels of mercury include cold cuts, canned goods, and some types of cheese.

  5. Soda

    Many people believe that drinking soda is a good way to lower their cholesterol. However, this is not always the case.

    Drinking soda can increase your chances of having high cholesterol. Soda is made with high-calorie sugar and artificial ingredients[5] that can damage your liver and heart.

    Replace drinking soda with water and juice, as they both are healthier.

  6. Dairy Products

    Dairy products are high in cholesterol as they contain large amounts of saturated fat. Saturated fat can increase the level of cholesterol in your blood and lead to heart disease.

    If you have high cholesterol, it’s best to avoid dairy products entirely such as milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt, etc, or try to consume them in moderation[6].

  7. Bacon

    There are a lot of foods that have high cholesterol levels, but bacon is one of the worst. Bacon is made from pork and contains a lot of saturated fat.

    Research[7] has proven that saturated fat could increase your cholesterol levels and make it difficult to manage your heart health.

    It’s also important to remember that bacon can contain other dangerous ingredients, such as nitrates and sugar.

    So it’s best to avoid[8] bacon altogether if you want to stay healthy and reduce your risk of heart disease.

  8. Eggs

    Eggs are a great source of protein, but they also contain cholesterol and cholesterol-rich nutrients like choline.

    If you have high cholesterol, it’s important to avoid eating eggs because they will increase[9] your risk of heart disease.

  9. Grain Products

    If you have high cholesterol, it’s important to avoid foods that are high in grain. These foods include bread, pasta, cereals, pastries, and even some types of meat.

    Grains can raise your cholesterol levels significantly because they contain a lot of sugar and saturated fat.

  10. Frozen Dinner

    Frozen dinners are a popular option for people with high cholesterol. They are generally low in fat and calories, which can help to lower blood pressure.

    However, frozen dinners often contain unhealthy ingredients[10] like saturated fat and cholesterol.

    If you choose to eat a frozen dinner, make sure to read the ingredients carefully and choose one that is lower in saturated fat and cholesterol.

  11. Butter

    Butter is a food that should be avoided if you have high cholesterol as it contains cholesterol, so it can increase your risk for heart disease.

    Additionally, butter is high in calories and fat, which can also contribute[11] to weight gain and heart disease.

    If you’re concerned about your cholesterol level, consider replacing some of your butter with another type of cooking oil or using less of it overall.

  12. Dry Fruits

    Dry fruits such as raisins, figs, and apricots are high in cholesterol. They contain a lot of sugar and can increase your blood cholesterol levels if you eat a lot of them.

    Study shows[12] that if you have high cholesterol, it’s best to avoid these dried fruits and instead eat foods that are low in cholesterol, like leafy greens and whole grains.

  13. Lard And Shortening

    Lard and shortening are two forms of saturated fat that can raise your cholesterol levels. They’re also two of the most common types of food that people eat.

    If you have high cholesterol, it’s important to avoid these foods. Lard and shortening are bad for the heart as well as they may cause[13] weight gain as they are high in calories.

  14. Oils

    One way to reduce your risk of heart disease is to avoid oil with high saturated fats like coconut oil, palm oil, and palm kernel oil.

    If you have high cholesterol, try to limit[14] your intake of these oils or switch to healthier oils like olive oil or canola oil.


If you have high cholesterol, it’s important to know what foods to avoid. 

Foods that are high in cholesterol can raise your blood cholesterol levels, which can increase the risk of heart disease and other health problems.

Just be sure to talk to your doctor or registered dietitian about a specific list of foods that you should keep away from if you have high cholesterol.


Working4Health prefers using primary and verified references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and our primary references include peer-reviewed research, academic, and medical institution studies.

  1. Mohammad Perwaiz Iqbal Trans fatty acids – A risk factor for cardiovascular diseasePak J Med Sci. 2014 Jan-Feb; 30(1): 194–197.
    doi: 10.12669/pjms.301.4525
  2. Sofia Bronzato and Alessandro Durante A Contemporary Review of the Relationship between Red Meat Consumption and Cardiovascular Risk Int J Prev Med. 2017; 8: 40.Published online 2017 Jun 1. doi: 10.4103/ijpvm.IJPVM_206_16
  3. James J. DiNicolantonio, Sean C. Lucan, and James H. O’Keefe The Evidence for Saturated Fat and for Sugar Related to Coronary Heart Disease Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2016 Mar-Apr; 58(5): 464–472.Published online 2015 Nov 14. doi: 10.1016/j.pcad.2015.11.006
  4. Yong Min Cho Fish consumption, mercury exposure, and the risk of cholesterol profiles: findings from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2010-2011 Environ Health Toxicol. 2017 Aug 31;32:e2017014. doi: 10.5620/eht.e2017014. eCollection 2017. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28859472/
  5. Hannah Gardener, Tatjana Rundek, Matthew Markert, et al. Diet Soft Drink Consumption is Associated with an Increased Risk of Vascular Events in the Northern Manhattan Study J Gen Intern Med. 2012 Sep; 27(9): 1120–1126.Published online 2012 Jan 27. doi: 10.1007/s11606-011-1968-2
  6. Ronan Lordan, Alexandros Tsoupras, Bhaskar Mitra, et al. Dairy Fats and Cardiovascular Disease: Do We Really Need to Be Concerned? Foods. 2018 Mar; 7(3): 29.Published online 2018 Mar 1. doi: 10.3390/foods7030029
  7. Patty W. Siri-Tarino, Qi Sun, Frank B. Hu, et al. Saturated Fatty Acids and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease: Modulation by Replacement Nutrients Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2010; 12(6): 384–390.Published online 2010 Aug 14. doi: 10.1007/s11883-010-0131-6
  8. Fats and Cholesterol Available from: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/fats-and-cholesterol/
  9. J David Spence, David JA Jenkins, and Jean Davignon Dietary cholesterol and egg yolks: Not for patients at risk of vascular disease Can J Cardiol. 2010 Nov; 26(9): e336–e339.doi: 10.1016/s0828-282x(10)70456-6
  10. Ghada A. Soliman Dietary Cholesterol and the Lack of Evidence in Cardiovascular Disease Nutrients. 2018 Jun; 10(6): 780.Published online 2018 Jun 16. doi: 10.3390/nu10060780
  11. Sara Engel, Tine Tholstrup Butter increased total and LDL cholesterol compared with olive oil but resulted in higher HDL cholesterol compared with a habitual diet Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Aug;102(2):309-15. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.115.112227. Epub 2015 Jul 1. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26135349/
  12. Valerie K Sullivan, Kristina S Petersen, Penny M Kris-Etherton Dried fruit consumption and cardiometabolic health: a randomised crossover trial Br J Nutr. 2020 Nov 14;124(9):912-921. doi: 10.1017/S0007114520002007. Epub 2020 Jun 9. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32513313/
  13. Lidiane B. Muniz, Aline M. Alves-Santos, Fabricio Camargo, et al. High-Lard and High-Cholesterol Diet, but not High-Lard Diet, Leads to Metabolic Disorders in a Modified Dyslipidemia Model Arq Bras Cardiol. 2019 Nov; 113(5): 896–902.doi: 10.5935/abc.20190149
  14. Kay-Tee Khaw, Stephen J Sharp, Leila Finikarides, et al. Randomised trial of coconut oil, olive oil or butter on blood lipids and other cardiovascular risk factors in healthy men and women BMJ Open. 2018; 8(3): e020167.Published online 2018 Mar 6. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-020167

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