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 www.uwhealth.org/nutrition.

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.