What Is Cholesterol & What Foods Can I Find It In?

3D-model of Cholesterol (src)

Cholesterol is essential for life. Our body makes all the cholesterol it needs, so it does not need to be ingested by our diet.

Most ingested cholesterol is esterified, which makes it poorly absorbed by the gut.

The body also compensates for the absorption of ingested cholesterol by reducing its own cholesterol synthesis.

This leads to that the cholesterol in food has little if any effect on concentrations of cholesterol in the blood.

Table of Contents

Cholesterol Is Important

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is found in all the cells in your body.

Your body needs cholesterol to make hormones, vitamin D, and substances that help you digest foods. (source )

Cholesterol Is Made In Your Body

The cholesterol in your blood comes from the foods you eat and your liver.

Your body makes all the cholesterol it needs. It is made mainly in the liver.

If the cholesterol diet is low, the liver makes more, and if the diet is high in cholesterol, the liver makes less. (source )

Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease?

Many people think that cholesterol is harmful, but the truth is that your body needs it to function.

High-quality studies have shown that dietary cholesterol is not associated with an increased risk of heart disease. (source ).

For years, dietary cholesterol was implicated in increasing blood cholesterol levels leading to the elevated risk of cardiovascular disease.

Extensive research has not shown evidence to support the role of dietary cholesterol in the development of cardiovascular disease.

Indicating that guideline information might be misleading. It is especially true for women, for whom moderately elevated cholesterol may prove to be not only harmless but even beneficial. (source )

High-Cholesterol Foods

Many high-cholesterol foods are among the most nutritious foods there is.

High-cholesterol foods include grass-fed beef, whole eggs, full-fat dairy products, fish oil, shellfish, sardines, and liver. (source )

Foods You Can Find Cholesterol In

You find cholesterol mostly in beef, lamb, veal, and game, sausage and luncheon meats, and pork products.

Examples of food sources include

Foods in our nutrition tool

You can find regularly updated, top ranked lists of foods for over 200+ nutrients in our nutrition tool.

If you are interested in what foods contain the most cholesterol, we recommend you visit our tool.

Here's our top ranked list of foods that contain Cholesterol.

Sara Niemelä

co-founder Care Omnia, Head Content Creator

Author Image of Sara Niemelä

Nutrition is my passion. I've spent thousands upon thousands of hours reading, analyzing, categorizing and comparing research studies.

I’m a wife and a mother of three. I enjoy the outdoors, cooking, and spending time with my family.