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Including Meat in Your Cholesterol-Lowering Diet: Can It Be Done?


Updated September 28, 2013

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Meat is one of those foods that may be high in protein, but that's also high in cholesterol and saturated fat — both of which could cause your cholesterol and triglyceride levels to increase. Despite this, meat can be incorporated into your cholesterol-lowering diet with a little understanding about how meat can increase your lipids, and a few simple tips on how to safely include meat in your healthy diet.

Do I Have to Stop Eating Meat if I Have High Cholesterol?

Being diagnosed with high cholesterol doesn't mean that you have to eliminate red meat entirely from your diet. However, you may need to cut down on the amount of meat you consume on a daily basis, or change the type of proteins you eat — especially if you're accustomed to including meat portions at every meal. This article discusses why meat can potentially increase your cholesterol levels, and which meats may do so more than others.

Tips For Eating Meat On a Low-Fat Diet

There are many ways to include meat in your heart-healthy diet. Although reducing the portions of meat eaten is a common way to reduce the fat introduced into your diet, there are other methods by which you can fit meat into your diet, ranging from the cooking and preparation of your meat to the types of cuts you select.

Are "Lean" Meats Really Low in Fat?

You've probably seen the labels on various packages in the meat department, such as "lean meat," "extra lean" or "leanest cut," but what do these words really mean? Just because your meat is labelled as "lean" doesn't mean that this meat is completely free of cholesterol and saturated fat. The labels "extra lean" and "lean" do have some meaning when it comes to your cholesterol-lowering diet, and this article will help you to understand the meaning behind these labels.

How to Select Deli Meats for Your Cholesterol-Lowering Diet

Deli meats are lean cuts of various meats used in a variety of different foods -- not just reserved as a traditional sandwich dressing. Unfortunately, deli meats can be a source of added cholesterol and saturated fat, depending upon how much you use or the types you consume. This concise guide will tell you which deli cuts are lower in cholesterol and fat, as well as ways you can use deli meats in your heart-healthy diet without significantly increasing your cholesterol levels.

Meat Substitutes to Include in Your Cholesterol-Lowering Diet

Luckily, if you're looking for alternatives to meat to add a little more protein to your diet, there are plenty available to you. Tofu, beans and fish are just a few of the options you have when you're looking to replace red meat in your cholesterol-lowering diet. These alternative options are not only chock-full of protein — they're lower in cholesterol and saturated fat. Switching to a meat substitute isn't as hard as you think, and after trying some of the delicious recipes in this article, you may forget that red meat even exists.

Delicious, Low Fat Recipes Containing Meat

If you're still craving red meat while following a cholesterol-lowering diet, there are many ways to include leaner cuts of meat without sabotaging your cholesterol levels — or your waistline. Whether you're looking for a quick bite to eat, or are planning for a cholesterol-friendly dinner party, these meat-inclusive recipes are sure to be filling, but also won't introduce a lot of fat into your diet. Additionally, these recipes will show you how to prepare delicious meals containing beef that are lower in saturated fat.

  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Cholesterol
  4. Diet & Meal Plans
  5. Meat & Your Cholesterol
  6. Can You Consume Meat While Following a Low Cholesterol Diet

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