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HF 225

20 Ways to Reduce Fat and Cholesterol in Your Diet

This handout provides easy ways you can reduce fat and cholesterol in your diet.

Meat and Beans

  • Eat less meat. Aim for a total of no more than 6 ounces per day.

  • Choose lean and less marbled meats such as tenderloin, top sirloin, or round.

  • Bake, grill, broil or roast meat.

  • Trim any visible fat and remove the skin from poultry.

  • Include fish (not deep fried) at least 2 times per week.

  • Include small amounts (1-2 handfuls) of nuts or seeds several times per week.

  • Enjoy meatless meals and include dried beans (navy, kidney, split peas, lentils, or soybeans) at least once per week, more if possible.

Dairy and Eggs

  • Use skim or low-fat milk, low-fat yogurt (including Greek), low-fat cheese and low-fat cottage cheese.

  • Substitute sherbet, frozen yogurt, or low-fat ice cream for regular ice cream.

  • Limit egg yolks to no more than 4 per week. 

  • Use egg substitute or egg whites when you bake and prepare food.

Fruits, Vegetables and Whole Grains

  • Include a variety of vegetables and fruit each day with meals and snacks.

  • Use oatmeal, barley, quinoa or other ancient grains as a source of whole grains.

Fats Added to Foods

  • Use smaller amounts of all fats.

  • Choose oils (canola or olive) and soft tub margarine instead of butter and shortening.

  • Use reduced fat margarine, cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise and salad dressing.

Processed Foods and Desserts

  • Choose baked vs. deep-fried snacks.

  • Eat smaller servings of all desserts.

  • Eat fruit for dessert.

  • Avoid all fried foods.

Teach Back

  • What is the most important thing you learned from this handout?

  • What changes will you make in your diet/lifestyle, based on what you learned today?


If you are a UW Health patient and have more questions, please call one of the phone numbers listed below. You can also visit our website at

Nutrition clinics for UW Hospital and Clinics (UWHC) and American Family Children’s Hospital (AFCH) can be reached at (608) 890-5500.

Nutrition clinics for UW Medical Foundation (UWMF) can be reached at (608) 287-2770.