Is Chicken Good Or Bad For Cholesterol?

In the contemporary world, wherein we have information at our fingertips; we are always seeking and finding answers for a longer and healthier life. The advancement of science means we have more knowledge of food and the effects it has on our bodies. We are aware of the dangers of unhealthy eating and high cholesterol is one such danger we are not ready to face.

Is Chicken Good Or Bad For Cholesterol?

Is Chicken Good Or Bad For Cholesterol?

High cholesterol is a very valid concern for many individuals; just like we count our calories to avoid weight gain and eat fresh and clean food to prevent food poisoning; we have taken to valuing food based on the effects different foods have on our body’s cholesterol levels. One common question that many individuals have pertaining to chicken is whether it spikes cholesterol levels to a point wherein health and wellbeing is compromised. This article aims to answer that query in a clear and lucid manner.

Read further to know whether chicken is good or bad for your cholesterol.

Chicken and Its Effect on the Body’s Cholesterol Levels

It is important to note that the human body depends on cholesterol to construct cell walls and for hormone production among other functions. About 75% of the body’s cholesterol content is produced by the liver and ideally only 25% of cholesterol should come from dietary sources. Anymore than that magnifies the risk of higher cholesterol levels that ultimately lead to clogged arteries, heart attacks and stroke among other ailments. There is no doubt that a protein rich food source like chicken does contribute with dietary cholesterol and can be good for cholesterol; however, the main concern is rationing chicken consumption to ensure cholesterol intake remains at healthy levels.

According to the American Heart Health Association; the average individual should limit his or her cholesterol intake to less than 300 mg per day. For individuals who are currently affected with high cholesterol; this recommended intake comes down to less than 200 mg of cholesterol per day. About 85 grams of roasted chicken in its skinless form has a cholesterol content of 70 to 80 mg. Lighter chicken meat has lesser cholesterol content while darker chicken meat has more cholesterol.

Watch Out for Saturated Fats in the Chicken

Dietary cholesterol has less of an impact on cholesterol levels in the body compared to saturated fats and when eating chicken on an intended low-cholesterol diet; one needs to watch out for saturated fats in chicken meat. Fortunately; it is quite possible to regulate saturated fat consumption depending upon chicken preparation and the cuts of chicken meat that is being eaten.

The Importance Of Cook & The Cut Of The Chicken On Your Cholesterol Levels

If you are looking to lower your cholesterol consumption without giving up a protein rich food source like chicken; cut and cook your chicken according. Opt only for skinless chicken with an emphasis on cutting off visible fat. Once you have the right cuts; opt for braising, baking, broiling, grilling or sautéing your meat to ensure that you are consuming a minimal amount of added fat. Additionally drain out excess fat that comes out during the cooking process. The cut of the chicken and the cooking method of the chicken determine a lot whether chicken is good or bad for cholesterol.

Maintain Healthy Servings of Chicken

If you must eat chicken while watching your cholesterol consumption; opt for small and healthy servings to ensure minimal cholesterol intake. A 100 to a 150 mg serving of chicken per day is safe for consumption without the risk of elevating cholesterol levels. However, skipping chicken or even reducing the chicken serving is a smart idea when you are consuming red meat, eggs and other cholesterol rich foods as well. Additionally; one can also stand to benefit by balancing dietary cholesterol intake through chicken by increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables that you eat on daily basis. Eating healthy portions of chicken ensures that it is good for your cholesterol.

Is Chicken Good Or Bad For Cholesterol?

And The Answer is………

While the original query on which this article is based; pertains to whether chicken is good or bad for cholesterol; the answer is dependent on various factors. Some are as listed below…

  • Adding cooking oil or fat and lard of any kind while preparing chicken for consumption can actually increase your cholesterol intake.
  • Consider the size of each serving of chicken on your plate based on your current blood cholesterol levels.
  • Talk to your doctor about chicken consumption if your cholesterol levels are extremely high.
  • Eat only recommended servings of chicken per day to ensure that you are getting sufficient dietary cholesterol, but not too much of it.


In conclusion; one can also make note of the fact that chicken contains much less cholesterol than red meat and eggs and is easily the safest option while choosing among non-vegetarian sources of protein. Too much of anything is bad; and the same goes for chicken where your cholesterol level is concerned. Eating a small serving of chicken without fat and cooked in a healthy way is not bad for your cholesterol. However, if you are cooking chicken in lot of oil or fat and also consuming other cholesterol rich food, then chicken becomes bad for your cholesterol. One needs to find the right balance as far as food is concerned and enjoy everything in moderation for good health and good cholesterol levels.

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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 3, 2019

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