13 Worst Foods For High Cholesterol: Complete Guide 2024

By Vanessa Richards

January 10, 2024   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

Worst Foods for High Cholesterol

Heart diseases are the leading cause of death in the U.S, and high cholesterol is the major risk factor for these diseases.

While our body also produces cholesterol, most blood cholesterol comes through diet.

So, with the proper diet, it’s possible to keep your cholesterol levels within the normal range.

This article will guide you on what are the worst foods for high cholesterol so that you can avoid them. Let’s get into it!

What Are The Worst Foods For High Cholesterol: What is a Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that is not always bad. In fact, it’s an essential molecule in body metabolism. However, excess of it is what you should be careful of.

Chemically, cholesterol belongs to lipids, commonly called fat. These can be saturated fats, unsaturated and trans fats.

The liver, through various metabolic processes, synthesizes these fats. It then goes into the bloodstream and is distributed throughout the body.

In the body, these perform many vital functions. Cholesterol, for example, is a component of the cell membrane and maintains its integrity.

At the same, cholesterol is a chemical component of many hormones, including cortisol (stress hormone), testosterone, and estrogen. Vitamin D formation also requires cholesterol.

However, cholesterol is divided into three types.

  1. Triglycerides or TAG.
  2. LDL cholesterol (Low-density lipoprotein) or Bad cholesterol.
  3. HDL cholesterol (High-density lipoprotein) or Good Cholesterol.

Triglycerides, TAG, and LDL account for high cholesterol in the blood. In comparison, HDL is responsible for carrying cholesterol back to the liver.

Ideally, a person should be aiming to maintain a balance i-e decreased LDL levels and increased HDL cholesterol.

Dangers of Having High Cholesterol

High Dietary cholesterol causes multiple health problems. Some of these health complications are relatively immediate, while the rest take years to develop.

Cardiovascular disease

The high saturated fat due to high cholesterol causes irregular blood flow. This result in thrombus or clot formation in blood vessels.

Initially, patients will have chest pain or angina. But uncontrolled cholesterol levels could lead to myocardial ischemia or heart attack.

Research has also proven high cholesterol is one of the top causes of coronary heart disease.


Not only does the excess cholesterol cause damage to the heart, but it can also cause damage to the brain.

The blood-carrying vessel to the brain can get blocked and eventually ruptured. As a result, the patient is more prone to having a stroke.

Peripheral Vascular disease

Besides the heart and brain, high cholesterol levels can affect the peripheral vessel of the legs and feet.

As a result, a person can have varicosities of the lower limb and sudden severe painful cramps.


High-cholesterol foods don’t directly cause diabetes. However, it offsets body metabolic pathways.

In addition, the high saturated fat gets accumulated as excess body fat. This excess body fat makes a person prone to diabetes.

Note that diabetes offsets the balance between LDL cholesterol vs. HDL levels. Together with high cholesterol levels, diabetes could be very detrimental to health.


Research has shown that high LDL cholesterol can trigger inflammation that causes vasoconstriction.

As a result, the patient can develop high blood pressure. High blood pressure itself is a risk factor for heart disease.

Over time, high LDL cholesterol levels can cause permanent endothelial damage. As a result, a person can have erectile dysfunction.

What Are The Worst Foods For High Cholesterol? 

What are the worst foods for high cholesterol
Photo: Unsplash

Cholesterol-rich foods are a source of saturated and trans fats.

These high-cholesterol foods cause an imbalance between IDL and HDL cholesterol levels. As a result, the patient becomes prone to developing the condition mentioned above.

However, the good news is that just with dietary modification, good results are promising.

We are going to divide high-cholesterol foods into two.

9 Foods That Are Healthy But High In Cholesterol

High-cholesterol foods don’t need to be always unhealthy. Instead, many foods are cholesterol-rich but don’t have a high level of saturated fat.

Such foods are great for body metabolic function and provide nutrients our body otherwise lacks.

Here are some healthy foods that don’t contain saturated fat.

1. Eggs

What are the worst foods for high cholesterol
Photo: Pexels

One 50mg egg can contain up to 207 mg of cholesterol. However, it doesn’t impact your bad cholesterol level.

Researches prove that eggs boost HDL or good cholesterol levels. In addition, eggs are an excellent source of protein.

2. Cheese

What are the worst foods for high cholesterol
Photo: Pexels

A slice of cheese can have up to 20mg of cholesterol. Like eggs, this isn’t bad. Instead, it contains many healthy fats.

Studies also prove that there is minimal effect of LDL cholesterol in both low-fat and full-fat cheese.

3. Liver

What are the worst foods for high cholesterol
Photo: Pexels

The liver is an extremely rich source of nutrients, and cholesterol is among them.

As per the dietary guidelines, 100g or 3.5-ounce serving contains 389 mg of cholesterol.

Other Healthy Sources of High Dietary Cholesterol:

  • 4. Shellfish
  • 5. Pasture-raised steak
  • 6. Organic meat
  • 7. Full-fat yogurt
  • 8. Sardines
  • 9. Beans

4 High-Cholesterol Foods That Should Be Avoided

While some are healthy sources of dietary cholesterol, there are plenty of unhealthy high-cholesterol foods.

You should avoid these foods, as they may expose you to increased levels of unsaturated fats.

Here is a list of foods with high cholesterol that are unhealthy.

  1. Processed meats such as hot dogs.
  2. Fried foods such as fried chicken.
  3. Fast food, including pizzas, hamburgers, and all sorts of stuff.
  4. Desserts.

How To Lower Cholesterol Levels

According to dietary guidelines by the American heart association, there are no recommended levels of dietary cholesterol intake.

However, avoiding foods rich in trans fats and low-density lipoproteins is always an approach.

We consider it a two-part process. First is lifestyle and dietary changes like avoiding cholesterol-rich foods. The other is taking medicine or supplements.

Lifestyle Changes to Avoid Cholesterol Buildup

Here are some cholesterol-lowering tips as a part of dietary modifications.

Eat Healthy Foods

Eating healthy will keep a good body metabolism. This, in turn, will avoid cholesterol buildup. Here are some of the things you can adapt.

  • Reduced saturated fat content in the diet.
  • Eliminate trans fats.
  • Eat foods rich in omega-3-fatty acids. Examples: salmon, walnut
  • Use vegetable oils.
  • Increase soluble fiber such as oat meals, sprouts, pears, etc.
  • Use whey protein.


Research doesn’t wholly prove targeted lowering of cholesterol by exercise. However, doctors recommend 15 minutes of aerobic activity three days per week.

Exercise also maintains low-density lipoprotein and maintains healthy body weight. This provides additional benefits besides lowering cholesterol in your body.

Other Lifestyle Modifications to Lower Cholesterol

  • Maintain healthy body weight.
  • Quit Smoking.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Use plants sterol and stanol.


There are ways other than lifestyle changes to lower cholesterol. However, practicing those besides lifestyle changes is best to get the desired results. 

Supplements like Steroids can be taken. Fish oil, Psyllium, and Coenzyme Q10 supplements are popular for lowering cholesterol.

In addition, we did some extensive research to find the best supplements for you.

1. Clears Out Clogged Arteries Naturally: Oxidized Cholesterol Strategy

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The Oxidized Cholesterol Strategy program is a step-by-step guide to help you lower cholesterol level fastly, improve heart health, and makes you more energetic. 

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This four-week plan is best for people looking for a one-stop solution to lower their cholesterol.

It includes everything from meals and meal preps to exercise and diet plans.

The oxidized cholesterol strategy is actually one step ahead of the management plans you’ll see online. And it’s great for people worried about oxidized cholesterol and heart disease risk.

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Full Article: The Oxidized Cholesterol Strategy Reviews 2024: Does it Really Work?

2. Maintains A Healthy Lipid Profile: Healthy Habits StrictionD

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Healthy Habits Striction D

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StrictionD supplement reduces blood sugar levels, lowers blood lipids, improves insulin response, and helps lower blood pressure.

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If worried about the blood vessels’ health due to high cholesterol, one can benefit from Healthy Habits StrictionD.

It is a dietary supplement to lower bad cholesterol while maintaining a healthy lipid profile.

Healthy Habits StrictionD also provides additional health benefits like maintaining sugar levels and blood pressure.

These are FDA approved and have a 365-money-back guarantee. So, this could be a great gateway to a cholesterol-free life.

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3. Tastiest ACV Gummy Brand: Essential Elements ACV Gummies

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Essential Elements ACV Gummy

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The dietary supplement is created to deliver the "health benefits" of Apple Cider Vinegar without the pungent taste of drinking pure ACV—to help keep the body healthy and working well.

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This apple cider vinegar gummy is a simple solution to eliminate bad cholesterol. The best part is these are easy to digest and can be a part of a routine diet.

ACV Gummy by essential elements boosts the body’s ability to digest but decreases absorption of cholesterol.

In addition, this helps maintain blood glucose levels and clear toxins. As a result, you get additional benefits of weight loss and immunity.

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4. Best for Providing Energy: Daily Greens Superfood Powder

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Daily Greens Organic Superfood

Powdered Supplement

The Daily Greens supplement is a doctor-formulated solution with a fantastic taste for daily wellness; With Daily Greens, you can drink your vegetables in less than a minute—with no mess or hassle.Depending on the package

Daily Greens Superfood powder is an excellent solution for nutrition from vegetable oils.

This powdered supplement works by clearing toxins and increasing body metabolism. In addition, this superfood powder boosts energy levels and has a ‘spirula’ that decreases heart disease risk.

Daily Greens Superfood powder also aids in mental clarity via good sleep. You’ll also get a 60-day full money-back guarantee. So, there is a little to lose here.

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Being a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases and causing many health complications, high cholesterol is a serious concern.

You can control it with an active lifestyle and avoid foods with high cholesterol content.

We recommend following a proper plan like Oxidized Cholesterol Strategy. This is the step-by-step approach from avoiding the worst foods to the best exercises.

We hope you got adequate information from these free cholesterol-lowering tips and recommendations.

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>>Related Article: How To Reduce Cholesterol Without Medication: Complete Guide 2024

What Are The Worst Foods For High Cholesterol FAQs

What foods affect cholesterol the most?

Fried foods, processed meats, and foods with high saturated fat can most affect your cholesterol.

What are some drinks to lower the body’s cholesterol content?

Green Tea, Soy milk, oat drink, berry smoothies, cocoa drinks, and plant milk smoothies are some excellent options.

Does high cholesterol make you tired?

No, there is no direct relationship between getting tired and high cholesterol. However, due to bad heart health, one might expect symptoms of breathlessness and tiredness.

Vanessa Richards

Vanessa is a mom of 3 lovely children and a software geek. Outside of her career as a health and wellness instructor. She enjoys writing and researching on topics such as finance, software, health and culinary.

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