How do fried foods affect my risk for high cholesterol?

By: Bobbie Hasselbring

You're at greater risk for high blood cholesterol and heart disease if you eat a diet that often includes deep-fried or breaded foods, which are high in fat. Diets high in saturated fat and cholesterol tend to raise total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. Foods that are fried or breaded tend to be very high in fat because they are cooked in fat. When you fry foods, such as chicken, that already contain saturated fat, you simply add more fat to them.

How to Reduce Your Risk

Take these actions to have a healthier heart.


  • If you don't know your blood cholesterol level, have it tested.
  • Each day, eat no more than 6 to 8 teaspoons of fats and vegetable oils. Remember to count those used in cooking. Choose fats and oils that are mostly unsaturated, such as olive oil. Avoid or limit those that are highly saturated, such as lard or butter.
  • Opt for cooking methods that use little or no fat. Rather than deep-fry or pan-fry, cook your food by steaming, baking, broiling, roasting, grilling, or stir-frying.
  • Eat at least two servings of fish per week, cooked using one of these healthier methods, to help improve your cholesterol levels and the health of your heart.
  • Limit your total fat intake to no more than 25% to 35% of your total daily calories.
  • Limit your saturated fat intake to less than 7% of your total daily calories.
  • Limit your cholesterol intake to less than 200 mg per day.

Learn more about cholesterol by visiting the following links: