Cholesterol Advice

Relationship between Fish and Cholesterol

Foods of animal origin are usually high in cholesterol and saturated fats. Foods such as meat, dairy products and eggs contain a high amount of cholesterol. Consumption of such foods should be limited, especially if you are a male and above the age of 35 and lead a sedentary life.

There is a lot of confusion about the cholesterol levels in fish. Does fish contain cholesterol? Does fish contain saturated fat? These are questions to which a lot of people seek answers. Fish does contain cholesterol. On an average fish contains between 0.5 to 1.2 mg of cholesterol depending on the variety of fish. That is equivalent to the cholesterol level in fatty foods such as beef, bacon or even lean chicken breast.

The question still remains unanswered. Is fish safe from the point of view of cholesterol content? Yes, fish is safer than other foods of animal origin because of the lower saturated fat. There is practically very little saturated fat in fish. The absence of saturated fat in fish results in very little cholesterol production by the body. About 75% of the population does not have the capability to absorb the dietary cholesterol in fish.

Fish contains essential omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids help to reduce the triglycerides and the LDL cholesterol in the blood.

What is more important is the way that fish is prepared. Deep frying fish in vegetable oil or any other fat adds saturated fat. This cancels out any advantage of the low saturated fat content of fish. Fish should ideally be served roasted, steamed, poached or baked. There are a number of spices that have their own added benefits that can be used to prepare fish.

Eat moderate servings of fish. Increase the amount of vegetables and fruit in your diet. Whole grain cereals, legumes, beans and nuts are heart healthy foods that are also beneficial in case you suffer from high cholesterol or are at risk.