Cholesterol: Make Good Food Choices

It is important to eat a low-fat diet and to lead a healthy lifestyle to reduce your risk of heart disease. Better food choices can help you decrease one of the major risk factors for heart attack -- high blood cholesterol. Fortunately, high blood cholesterol can be controlled.

Saturated Fats -- Fats that are solid at room temperature and found in foods like meat, butter, cheese, whole milk and ice cream. Saturated fats raise blood cholesterol more than anything else in your diet.

Unsaturated Fats -- Fats that are liquid at room temperature and are mainly found in vegetable oils, such as corn, olive, peanut, canola, safflower and soybean oils.

Here are some tips to help you lower your fat and cholesterol intake:

  • Eat three meals each day; do not skip meals

  • Eat no more than 6 ounces (cooked) of lean meat, fish or skinless poultry per day

  • Broil, bake, boil or grill, rather than fry

  • Try meals featuring pasta, rice, beans and vegetables

  • Choose skim, 1/2 percent or 1 percent milk and nonfat or low-fat yogurt and cheeses

  • Limit your intake to 3-4 egg yolks each week

  • Eat five or more servings of fruit and/or vegetables each day

  • Eat six or more servings of breads, cereals or grains each day

  • Limit your use of fats and oils, especially those high in saturated fat, such as butter, cream, lard, shortening and chocolate


Disclaimer: The information on this page was compiled by registered dietitians at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. This material provides general information only. It should not be used in place of the advice, instructions, or treatment given by your doctor or other health care professional.