Skip to main content

Diet low in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol

  • A diet low in saturated fat, cholesterol and trans fat is a balancing act. You need to eat a variety of foods to get the right nutrients. But you also need to manage the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol you eat.

    The following information lists what to eat and what to avoid or limit in these food groups:

    Grains

    Food group Recommended Avoid or use sparingly
    Grains 6 servings or more per day 1 serving = 1 slice of bread or 1/2 hamburger bun, 1/2 English muffin, or 1/2 bagel Try to eat two servings of whole grains each day, such as foods with the first ingredient of whole wheat, whole-grain barley, whole oats, or cracked wheat, whole rye. Breads: All kinds (wheat, rye, raisin, white, oatmeal, Italian, French, and English muffin bread) Low-fat rolls: English muffins, frankfurter and hamburger buns Water (no egg) bagels Pita bread Tortillas (not fried) Pancakes, waffles, biscuits, and muffins made with recommended oils Snack chips: Choose baked or varieties without hydrogenated fats (trans fats). Products made with egg yolks, saturated fats, or whole milk products. Butter rolls, egg breads, egg bagels, cheese breads, croissants, scones Commercial doughnuts, muffins, sweet rolls, biscuits, waffles, pancakes, store-bought mixes (Many of these products contain trans fats.)
    Crackers Low-fat crackers and snacks: Animal, graham, rye, saltine (with recommended oil and no lard), bread sticks, melba toast, rusks, flatbread, pretzels, popcorn (made with a recommended fat), zwieback, Wasa crackers Read labels to avoid hydrogenated fats (trans fats). High-fat crackers: Cheese crackers, butter crackers, and those made with coconut or palm oil, palm kernel oil or trans fats Buttered popcorn
    Cereals 1 serving = 1 oz. dry cereal or 1/2 cup cooked cereal Hot or cold cereals: All kinds except granola-type cereals made with coconut or coconut oil Cereals containing coconut, hydrogenated vegetable fat or animal fat
    Potatoes/pasta/rice 1 serving = 1/2 cup cooked rice, pasta, mashed potatoes, barley, kasha (buckwheat), or one small baked potato All kinds of potatoes, rice, and pasta (such as macaroni, spaghetti, and noodles) Barley Kasha (buckwheat) and cereals made with kasha (except those with trans fat) Pasta or rice prepared with whole eggs, cream sauce or high fat cheese Egg pasta Chow mein noodles French fries

    Vegetables

    Daily portions Recommended Avoid or use sparingly
    Vegetables 3 servings or more per day 1 serving = 1 cup raw or 1/2 cup cooked All vegetables and vegetable juices Vegetables in cream, butter or high-fat cheese sauces Vegetables fried in shortening, lard and/or butter

    Fruits

    Daily portions Recommended Avoid or use sparingly
    Fruits 2 servings or more per day 1 serving = 1/2 cup juice or canned fruit or 1 piece of fresh fruit All fruits All 100 percent fruit juices Orange juice with plant stanols/sterols (a special orange juice with plant stanols/sterols to help lower cholesterol levels) Fruit in cream or custard

    Meat, poultry, fish and vegetarian substitutes

    Daily portions Recommended Avoid or use sparingly
    Meat, poultry, fish The American Heart Association recommends no more than 6 ounces of cooked lean meat, poultry, fish or seafood a day. Note: If you are on the TLC diet, limit cooked lean meat, poultry, fish or seafood to no more than 5 ounces a day. Try to eat 2 servings of fish each week. Fish: Choose fish high in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna. Shellfish: Shrimp and crayfish have more cholesterol than most other types of fish and seafood. They are lower in saturated fat and total fat than most meats and poultry. Beef: Lean cuts include top round, top loin, round tip, eye of round, sirloin, tenderloin, flank. Pork: loin chops, roasts, butterfly chops, sirloin chops, tenderloin, Canadian bacon, ham Lamb: chops, leg, roast Poultry: chicken, turkey (with skin removed) Wild game: wild duck, rabbit, pheasant, venison Prime grade of meat, short ribs, spare ribs, rib eye roast or steak Mutton and caviar Commercially fried fish (trans fats) Limit shellfish to no more than 1 serving each week. Domestic duck, goose Venison sausage Organ meats: liver, gizzard, heart, chitterlings, brains, kidney, sweetbreads Avoid battered and breaded products. Avoid frankfurters (hot dogs), sausage, salt pork, bacon and high-fat luncheon meats (salami,bologna, summer sausage). Limit shellfish to no more than 1 serving each week.
    Vegetarian meal planning 2 to 3 servings per day 1 serving = 1/2 cup cooked beans (such as pinto, kidney, black beans, etc.), peas or lentils; 2 tablespoons nuts, seeds or peanut butter; 1/4 cup tofu or tempeh; 1 cup soy milk Meatless meals made with beans, peas, lentils, tofu (soybean curd), vegetarian-type burgers, non-hydrogenated peanut butter

    Eggs

    Daily portions Recommended Avoid or use sparingly
    Eggs Limit egg yolks to no more than 2 per week, including those used in cooking. Egg whites or low cholesterol egg substitutes may be used as desired. Egg yolks are high in cholesterol. One average egg yolk has about 213 mg. of cholesterol.

    Milk, yogurt and cheese

    Daily portions Recommended Avoid or use sparingly
    Milk, yogurt, cheese 2 to 3 servings per day 1 serving = 1 cup milk, 8 oz. nonfat or low-fat yogurt, 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese, or 1 oz. low-fat cheese Skim or 1 percent milk: liquid, powdered, or evaporated Buttermilk, drinks made with skim or low-fat milk or cocoa. Chocolate milk or hot cocoa made with skim or low-fat milk Nonfat or low-fat yogurt Low fat cheeses: nonfat or low-fat cottage cheese; cheeses made with part skim milk, such as mozzarella, farmer's, string or ricotta Cheeses should be labeled no more than 2 to 6 grams fat per ounce. Whole milk and whole milk products 2 percent milk Custard style yogurt Cream, half & half Whole milk type cheeses, including colby, cheddar, muenster, monterey jack, havarti, brie, camembert, American, Swiss and blue Creamed cottage cheese, cream cheese

    Soups and combination foods

    Daily portions Recommended Avoid or use sparingly
    Soups and combination foods Low-fat soups: broth, bouillon, dehydrated soups, homemade broth, soups with the fat removed Homemade cream soups made with skim or low-fat milk. Low-fat combination foods: spaghetti, lasagna, chili and Spanish rice are examples of foods that can be made with low-fat ingredients and low-fat cooking techniques. Cream soups made with whole milk, cream or high fat cheese

    Desserts and sweets

    Daily portions Recommended Avoid or use sparingly
    Desserts and sweets Eat in moderation. Ice milk, sherbet, frozen yogurt, Popsicles®, fruit ices, gelatins, meringues, angel food cake. Homemade desserts with recommended fats, oils and milk products (Use the weekly egg yolk allowance, or try egg whites.) Vanilla wafers, ginger snaps, fortune cookies, fig bars, anything fat-free (Look at the labels. Choose those made without hydrogenated oils.) Jam, jelly, honey, marmalade, sugars and syrups Pure sugar candies such as gum drops, hard candy, jelly beans, marshmallows and non-chocolate mints Commercially prepared cakes, pies, cookies, doughnuts, croissants, pastries. Refer to label reading section. These products may be high in trans fats. Ice cream or ice cream drinks Candy with coconut, butter, hydrogenated fat

    Fats and oils

    Daily portions Recommended Avoid or use sparingly
    Fats and oils Maximum 6 to 8 servings per day (varies with calories needed). This includes fats used in cooking, baking, salads and spreads on bread. Serving size (5 g fat per serving) = 1 tsp. soft margarine, 1 tsp. oil, 1 Tbsp. diet margarine, 1 Tbsp. reduced calorie mayo, 2 tsp. peanut butter, 1 Tbsp. regular salad dressing, 2 Tbsp. light salad dressing, 2 Tbsp. nondairy, low fat creamer, 1/8 medium avocado, 5 large olives, 1 Tbsp. sunflower seeds or nuts, 1-2 Tbsp. low fat cream cheese or low-fat sour cream (Fat contents vary, limit to less than 5 grams fat per serving.) Vegetable oils: canola, olive, peanut, safflower, sunflower, corn, soybean, cottonseed, sesame, almond, walnut, flaxseeds and flaxseed oil Margarines: spray, tub, or squeeze, with one of the above oils listed as a liquidas the first ingredient (Select margarines with no trans fats.) Salad dressing or mayonnaise: homemade or commercial, made with a recommended oil Low or nonfat salad dressing or mayonnaise Benecol® and Take Control® (plant stanols/sterols) are cholesterol- lowering food supplements that can be used in place of margarine to lower your LDL. Solid fats and shortenings: butter, lard, salt pork, bacon drippings Gravy containing meat fat, shortening or suet Margarines in which the first ingredient is nota liquid oil Chocolate, cocoa butter, coconut Coconut, palm or palm kernel oils - often used in bakery products Nondairy creamers, whipped toppings, candy, and commercially fried foods (Read the labels carefully.) Half & half, heavy or whipping cream, or Coffee-mate®

    Beverages

    Daily portions Recommended Avoid or use sparingly
    Beverages Coffee (regular or decaffeinated), tea Regular or diet carbonated beverages Mineral water Check with your doctor about alcohol use. Moderation is recommended. Any beverage that contains avoided fats or egg yolks (such as eggnog, Tom and Jerry mix, coffee beverages with high fat milk, etc.) Limit rich specialty coffees.

    Condiments and miscellaneous

    Daily portions Recommended Avoid or use sparingly
    Condiments and miscellaneous All seasonings and condiments Cocoa powder Use herbs and spices to season. "Cream" sauces made with recommended ingredients Carob powder made withhydrogenated fats

  • If you see this message, you must refresh before proceeding with editing!


Copyright Information

This site is presented for information only and is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice. Allina Health®, Allina®, the Allina Health logo, and Medformation® are registered trademarks of Allina Health System. Presentation and Design ©2015 Allina Health. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED