Cholesterol

Learn to make healthier food choices by using the Nutrition Facts table on prepackaged foods. Cholesterol is found in the Nutrition Facts table.

Did you know?

Cholesterol only comes from animal-based foods, such as cheese, eggs and meat. It is not found in plant-based foods, such as fruit, grains and vegetables.

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a type of fat made by the body. It is also found in some foods.

Foods that are high in saturated and trans fats may increase your blood cholesterol level. This increases your risk of developing heart disease. Foods that are high in cholesterol may also increase your blood cholesterol level.

Where can you find cholesterol?

Cholesterol is found in many foods:

  • Dairy products such as cheese and ice cream
  • Egg yolks
  • Fish and seafood such as sardines and shrimp
  • Meat such as beef, lamb, liver, pork, poultry, veal

How can you make a healthier choice?

  • For a healthy diet, reduce the amount of cholesterol, saturated and trans fats you eat.
  • Use the % Daily Value (% DV) in the Nutrition Facts table.
  • Remember: 5% DV or less is a little and 15% DV or more is a lot for all nutrients.
  • Cholesterol, saturated and trans fats are nutrients you may want less of.

Fast facts

The % Daily Value for cholesterol is optional. This means that a food company may choose to show it in the Nutrition Facts table if they want to.

Helpful hints at the grocery store

  • Always look at the Nutrition Facts table to choose and compare foods.
  • Choose foods that are lower in saturated and trans fats.
  • Go meatless once or twice a week. Try lentils, kidney beans, soy burgers or chick peas.
  • Buy lean cuts of meat, skinless poultry and fish.
  • Mix whole eggs with egg whites.
  • Choose skim, 1% or 2% milk instead of whole milk.
  • Use oils or soft margarine instead of butter.

How is the % DV for cholesterol calculated?

When there is a % DV for cholesterol, the Daily Value used in nutrition labelling is based on 300 mg of cholesterol for a reference diet.

For example, if the Nutrition Facts table shows 30 mg of cholesterol, the product would have a % Daily Value for cholesterol of 10%.
(30 mg ÷ 300 mg) × 100 = 10%.

Remember: 5% DV or less is a little and 15% DV or more is a lot for all nutrients.

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