Cholesterol in food
Cholesterol in food only has a small effect on the level of cholesterol in your blood.
Cholesterol is a fat found in your blood. It's produced naturally in your body, and you can also get cholesterol from some foods.
High total blood cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease. Find out more about blood cholesterol.
Worried about your cholesterol levels?
When it comes to your blood cholesterol levels, cholesterol in food is less important than eating less saturated and trans fats, and more healthy fats.
Cholesterol in food has only a small effect on the bad (LDL) cholesterol in your blood. Saturated and trans fats in food causes a much greater increase in LDL cholesterol. And eating healthy fats helps the cholesterol balance by decreasing LDL and increasing the good (HDL) cholesterol.
You can include some cholesterol-rich foods as part of a healthy balanced diet low in saturated fat. Cholesterol-rich foods include offal (e.g. liver, pâté and kidney) and prawns.
What about eggs?
Most people don’t need to worry about eggs and cholesterol. Eggs are very nutritious. They contain good quality protein, lots of vitamins and minerals, and healthier polyunsaturated fat. The dietary cholesterol in eggs has only a small effect on blood LDL cholesterol, so you can enjoy up to 6 eggs each week as part of a healthy balanced diet. Read more about eggs
- Q&As on dietary fats and dietary cholesterol, 2009 (PDF)
- Q&As on plant sterol enriched foods, 2007 (PDF)
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