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Healthy Food Choices to Lower Cholesterol


Try these healthy food choices to help lower your cholesterol:

Meats, poultry, fish, and protein from vegetables

  • White-meat chicken and turkey (remove the skin before eating)
  • Turkey ham and turkey hot dogs
  • Lean cuts of meat, like round, sirloin, and extra-lean ground beef
  • Fresh fish and shellfish (don’t batter or fry)
  • Pork leg, shoulder, and tenderloin
  • Dry beans and peas

Breads, grains, rice, pasta

  • Whole wheat bread and bagels
  • Soft corn tortillas, low-fat flour tortillas, and whole wheat tortillas
  • Whole-grain crackers and soda crackers
  • Oatmeal and other high-fiber, low-sugar cereals
  • Brown rice and whole wheat pasta

Milk, yogurt, cheese, eggs

  • Fat-free or low-fat milk
  • Fat-free or low-fat yogurt with little added sugar
  • Cheese that is low-fat or nonfat
  • Egg substitutes and egg whites
  • Margarine or spread with no trans fat (usually soft or liquid margarine)
  • Low-fat ice cream or frozen yogurt

Fruits and vegetables

  • Fresh fruits like apples, bananas, oranges, and pears
  • Fresh vegetables like carrots, greens, peppers, and broccoli
  • Frozen vegetables, or canned vegetables with no added salt
  • Frozen or canned fruits with no added sugar or in light syrup or juice

Limit avocados and olives. They contain healthy fats, but they are high in calories. And avoid serving fresh vegetables with butter or cheese.

Fats, sweets, oils

  • Low-fat or fat-free salad dressings
  • Reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • Canola, peanut, or olive oil
  • Natural peanut butter (with no hydrogenated oil)

Avoid packaged desserts, especially those with palm or coconut oil.


By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Carl Orringer, MD - Cardiology, Clinical Lipidology
Last Revised July 2, 2010

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