Cholesterol is a type of fat that is essential for a number of important bodily functions, but it’s crucial to maintain balance. While our bodies produce cholesterol naturally, the foods we consume can also contribute to our cholesterol levels. It is advised to consume no more than 300 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol a day, to remain healthy and less at risk of heart disease. To assist you in making wise dietary decisions, we’ll analyse the cholesterol levels of a few popular foods.


One large egg contains approximately 186 milligrammes (mg) of cholesterol. Eggs are often regarded as a high-cholesterol food due to the yolk. However, research suggests that the impact of eggs on cholesterol levels is more nuanced. Moderate egg consumption, up to one egg per day, does not significantly raise LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in healthy individuals.

FoodCholesterol Content (In an Egg)
One egg white 0 mg
One egg yolk186 mg1
Cholesterol level in egg yolk vs egg white

Red meat

Red meat, such as beef and lamb, is a good source of protein but can be high in cholesterol. A 100 gram (3.5 ounce) serving of beef may contain around 78–90mg of cholesterol, depending on the cut and how it is prepared.

Red MeatCholesterol Content (mg per 100g)
Beef (ground, lean)78-90mg
Beef (short ribs)94mg
Beef liver 389-400mg
Lamb (foreshank)106 mg
Pork Varies by cut, but typically around 70 mg
Cholesterol content in different forms and types of red meat2

Read More: Top 10 cholestrol lowering foods


Chicken is a leaner meat option compared to red meat. A 100 gram serving of chicken breast typically contains about 85 mg of cholesterol. Removing the skin can reduce the cholesterol content. Below, you’ll find the cholesterol content in 100 grams of chicken breast prepared using various cooking methods.* It’s worth noting that chicken breast has the lowest cholesterol content of all chicken cuts.

A piece of chicken breast (100 g) Cholesterol content (mg per 100g)
Light-fried with flour 89 mg
Roasted84 mg
Stewed, skinless77 mg
Cholesterol Content in 100g of Chicken Breast Meat: Comparison Across Cooking Methods3


Salmon is a fatty fish that provides heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. A 100 gram (3.5 ounce) serving of salmon generally contains around 50-65 mg of cholesterol.


Cheese is a dairy product that varies widely in its cholesterol content. On average, a 28 gram (1 ounce) serving of cheddar cheese may contain approximately 30 mg of cholesterol.

Dairy Product Portion Cholesterol Content(mg)
Cheddar cheese28g 30 mg
Cottage cheese (low-fat)1 cup10 mg
Yoghurt (whole)1 cup29 mg
Yoghurt (non-fat)1 cup10 mg

Cholesterol content in Various Cheese Varieties and Yoghurt4


Seafood like prawns is known for its cholesterol content.*** A 100 gram (3.5 ounce) serving of prawns can contain about 194 mg of cholesterol. Shrimp and squid are the seafood with the most cholesterol content 231 mg and 194 mg respectively.

Seafood(raw, 100g)Cholesterol Content (mg per 100g)
Prawns194 mg
Salmon63 mg
Tuna (in water)30 mg
Oysters 55 mg
Crab52 mg
Lobster 71 mg

Cholestrol content in different seafoods5 6


Milk is a staple in many diets and is rich in nutrients like calcium and vitamin D. One cup (240 millilitres) of whole milk contains around 33mg of cholesterol. Other types of cow milk with less fat have less cholesterol.

Type of milk Cholesterol content (mg per cup)
Milk (whole)33 mg
Milk (low-fat)10 mg
Milk (fat-free, skimmed milk)4 mg

Cholesterol levels in different types of milk7

Read more: How Fat Affects Cholesterol Levels: What You Need to Know


Mayonnaise, a common condiment, is made from eggs and oil. A tablespoon of mayonnaise typically contains around 5.8 mg of cholesterol8.


Butter is a dairy product high in saturated fat. One tablespoon of butter contains approximately 31 mg of cholesterol.

Fat (1tsp)Cholesterol Content (mg per tsp)
Butter 11mg
Margarine 0
Vegetable oils  0
Comparison of Cholesterol Levels in Margarine, Butter, and Vegetable Oil9

How to check cholesterol in food items

A nutrition label showing cholesterol content in a food
Nutrition label showing cholesterol content

Checking the nutritional information label on food packaging is a simple yet effective way to determine its cholesterol content. The label typically lists the amount of cholesterol per serving, along with other important information such as total fat saturated fat, and unsaturated fat.

At-home cholesterol testing for a personal snapshot

If you’re concerned about your cholesterol levels, taking an at-home finger prick test like DocHQ’s Cholesterol Check can provide valuable insights into your overall cholesterol profile. These convenient tests allow you to collect a sample from your fingertip and send it to one of our certified labs. Within a few days, you’ll receive a detailed report outlining your total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol and triglyceride levels along with medical advice regarding what your results mean and advice on next steps, leaving you empowered to take charge of your own health.

Reference List

  1. Eggs and Cholesterol. (n.d.). Retrieved from ↩︎
  2. UCSF Health. (2023). Cholesterol Content of Foods. Retrieved from ↩︎
  3. Schaefer, A. (2016). Piece by Piece: A Guide to Cholesterol in Chicken. Retrieved from ↩︎
  4. UCSF Health. (2023). Cholesterol Content of Foods. Retrieved from ↩︎
  5. UCSF Health. (2023). Cholesterol Content of Foods. Retrieved from ↩︎
  6. Are Crabmeat & Shrimp High in Cholesterol? | livestrong. (n.d.). Retrieved from ↩︎
  7. UCSF Health. (2023). Cholesterol Content of Foods. Retrieved from ↩︎ ↩︎
  8. FoodData Central Search Results. (n.d.). Retrieved from ↩︎
  9. UCSF Health. (2023). Cholesterol Content of Foods. Retrieved from ↩︎