Hi Claudia, I just went for a health screening last month and it revealed high cholesterol levels than my normal range. I heard, it is not recommended for people with high cholesterol to eat red meat, including beef. This is quite a problem for me since I love steaks. Is there any way for me to still be able to enjoy a good steak although I have high cholesterol?
Ask a Dietitian: Can I enjoy a good steak if I have high cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a type of molecule naturally present in the blood. There are two types of cholesterol: low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). LDL is considered as the ‘bad’ cholesterol, since high levels of LDL may lead to a buildup in the artery which blocks the flow of the blood. HDL cholesterol is often called as the ‘good’ cholesterol. It absorbs cholesterol, carries it to the liver to be flushed away from the body.
It is true that people with high cholesterol levels should limit their red meat intake, including beef. Generally, you should be avoiding saturated fat, which is responsible for the high level of LDL. You can find saturated fat in red meat, such as beef, pork, mutton, and lamb, full cream dairy and tropical oils (palm and coconut oil).
If you want to enjoy steak, it is important to pick the right cut. A good tip when shopping for cuts of beef is to choose the lean ones, with the least amount of visible fats (marbling).
If you like to eat organs (or innards), such as liver, it is recommended to limit your consumption up to 3 ounces (85 grams) per month.
If you found this useful, click to read more advice and recommendations by our dietician.