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Cholesterol

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In this Lesson you will Learn

  1. ​What is cholesterol?
  2. Which foods have cholesterol?
  3. Does cholesterol cause heart disease?
  4. What is "good" and "bad" cholesterol?
 

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance necessary for human health because of its role in building cell membranes, producing hormones, and converting sunlight into vitamin D.1 While the body absorbs some cholesterol from food, it also produces its own cholesterol in the liver.2 

The cholesterol in foods is called dietary cholesterol. It is found in meat, eggs, and dairy products. Cholesterol is not found in plant foods.

dried shrimpegg yolksquail eggscaviaregg substitute

Cholesterol has a bad rap for causing heart disease, but experts now suggest that the ratio between "bad" LDL cholesterol and "good" HDL cholesterol in the blood is much more important. This ratio tends to depend on how much and which kinds of fats and carbohydrates you consume, not to mention other lifestyle factors and genetics. Dietary cholesterol itself seems to have a minimal effect on blood cholesterol levels.3 That said, it is definitely advisable to limit your consumption of trans fat; it is still unclear whether saturated fat consumption and heart disease are linked.

Cholesterol-rich Foods

Ingredient mg of Cholesterol per 100g mg of Cholesterol per 100 calories
dried shrimp 1140.0 356.3
egg yolks 1085.0 337.0
quail eggs 844.0 534.2
caviar 588.0 222.7
egg substitute 572.0 128.8
foie gras 515.0 387.2
duck liver 515.0 378.7
hollandaise sauce mix 428.6 100.0
turkey liver 415.0 324.2
salmon roe 374.0 261.5
hard-boiled eggs 373.0 240.6
eggs 372.0 260.1
lamb liver 371.0 266.9
poached eggs 370.0 258.7
chicken livers 345.0 289.9
calf liver 334.0 238.6
liver 275.0 203.7
custard powder 258.0 62.9
clarified butter 256.0 29.2
shrimp 252.0 252.0
squid 233.0 253.3
ladyfingers 221.0 60.5
unsalted butter 215.0 30.0
butter 215.0 30.0
brioche 171.0 39.9
clotted cream 160.0 27.3
breakfast sausage 160.0 68.1
liverwurst 158.0 48.5
salt cod 152.0 52.4
sardines 142.0 68.3
lightly sweetened whipped cream 137.0 39.7
langoustines 137.0 157.5
heavy cream 137.0 39.7
rotisserie chicken 130.0 66.3
lobster meat 127.0 164.9
prawns 126.0 177.5
jamon iberico 125.0 41.1
venison ribs 120.4 70.8
fontina cheese 116.0 29.8
duck legs 114.0 52.5
gouda cheese 114.0 32.0
venison shoulder 113.0 59.2
light cream 111.0 38.0
cream cheese 110.0 32.2
oxtail 110.0 44.5
gruyere cheese 110.0 26.6
leftover turkey 109.0 57.7
smoked ham hocks 109.0 33.2
guanciale 107.1 15.0
manchego cheese 107.0 24.9
smoked trout 106.0 79.7
light butter 106.0 21.2
pepperoni 105.0 21.3
cheddar cheese 105.0 26.1
romano cheese 104.0 26.9
toffee bits 104.0 18.6
Red Leicester 103.0 27.0
Cheshire cheese 103.0 26.5
biscotti 103.0 22.3
turkey fat 102.0 11.3
sponge cake 102.0 35.3
cornish hens 101.0 50.5
mascarpone cheese 100.0 22.2
brie 100.0 29.9
goose fat 100.0 11.1
american cheese 100.0 27.0
duck fat 100.0 11.3
chicken thighs 98.0 44.7
turkey bacon 98.0 25.7
bacon bits 98.0 20.8
powdered milk 97.0 19.6
bacon drippings 95.0 10.6
lard 95.0 10.5
colby cheese 95.0 24.1
shredded mexican cheese blend 95.0 26.5
chuck roast 94.0 51.1
chicken legs 93.0 43.5
swiss cheese 92.0 24.2
chicken drumsticks 92.0 57.9
roquefort cheese 90.0 24.4
feta cheese 89.0 33.7
Edam cheese 89.0 24.9
monterey jack cheese 89.0 23.9
capicola 89.0 31.2
kraft grated parmesan cheese 88.0 20.4
havarti cheese 88.0 25.8
chorizo 88.0 19.3
salt pork 86.0 11.5
ground beef patty 86.0 37.1
shoulder joint of pork 86.0 32.0
ground chicken 86.0 60.1
beef strip loin 86.0 34.5
anchovy paste 85.0 40.5
chicken breasts 85.0 51.5
lamb chops 85.0 45.2
venison 85.0 70.8
chicken fat 85.0 9.4
egg noodles 84.0 21.9
hamburger 84.0 35.9
andouille sausage 84.0 24.8
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Sources

  1. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute - What is Cholesterol?
  2. American Heart Association - About Cholesterol
  3. Harvard School of Public Health Nutrition Source - Fats and Cholesterol
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Takeaways

  1. Cholesterol is necessary for human health because of its role in building cell membranes, producing hormones, and converting sunlight into vitamin D.
  2. Cholesterol is found in animal-based foods.
  3. Not all cholesterol causes heart disease. Experts now believe that the ratio between "bad" LDL cholesterol and "good" HDL cholesterol is a deciding factor.
  4. How much "good" or "bad" cholesterol you have in your blood depends on your diet, lifestyle, and genetics. Limiting your consumption trans fat (and possibly saturated fat) could raise levels of "good" cholesterol and decrease levels of "bad" cholesterol.​​
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