TLC Daily Food Guide to Lower Your Cholesterol
Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs, and Nuts
lower your blood cholesterol level, choose only the leanest meats, poultry, fish
- Choose chicken and turkey without skin or remove skin before eating.
- Some fish, like cod, have less saturated fat than either chicken or meat.
- Since even the leanest meat, chicken, fish, and shellfish have saturated fat and
cholesterol, limit the total amount you eat to 5 ounces or less per day.
In general, chicken and turkey are low in saturated fat, especially when the skin
is removed. When shopping for poultry remember:
Fish and Shellfish
- You can buy chicken and turkey pieces with the skin already removed. Or buy
pieces with the skin on and remove it yourself before eating . . . it's
easy to do. Remember, the white meat itself always contains less saturated
fat than the dark meat.
goose and duck. They are high in saturated fat, even with the
- Try fresh ground turkey or chicken that is made from white meat like the breast.
- Remember that some chicken and turkey hot dogs are lower in saturated fat and total
fat than pork and beef hot dogs. There are also "lean" beef hot
dogs and vegetarian (made with tofu) franks that are low in fat and
When shopping for fish and shellfish remember that:
- Most fish is lower in saturated fat and cholesterol than meat or poultry.
- Shellfish varies in cholesterol content. Shellfish have little saturated fat and total
fat. Even shrimp can be enjoyed occasionally on a TLC Diet provided you eat
less than 200 milligrams of cholesterol a day. For example, 3 ounces of
steamed shrimp has 167 milligrams of cholesterol.
peas and beans and tofu (bean curd) are great meat substitutes that are low in
saturated fat and cholesterol. Dry peas and beans also have a lot of fiber,
which can help to lower blood cholesterol. Try adding a ½ cup beans to pasta,
soups, casseroles, and vegetable dishes. Tofu takes on the flavor of marinades
well. Try marinating tofu in a nonfat dressing or a tangy sauce and grilling or
baking for a heart healthy dish.
For more, please read the TLC Daily Food Guide to Lower Your Cholesterol
Portions of the above information has been provided with the kind permission of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (www.nhlbi.nih.gov/).
Last Editorial Review: 3/21/2003