Cholesterol in Fish
Medically Reviewed iconMedically Reviewedcevron icon

Cholesterol in Fish

Fish is a staple in most peoples’ diets because of its high nutrition profile. In addition to being a reliable and excellent source of protein, minerals, and vitamins, it also contains appropriate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. While fish is considered healthy, it should be noted that not all types of fishes are healthy. Some fish may be high in cholesterol and harmful to people with high cholesterol, while others can be healthy and entirely safe to eat.

When choosing a fish, it is essential to side with leaner fishes low in saturated fat and calories so they don’t negatively influence your cholesterol levels. If you want to learn about fishes that are safe for consumption, the link between cholesterol and fish, and other relevant information, ensure you read the article until the end.   

Do Fish Contain Cholesterol?

Yes, fish contains cholesterol. But they aren’t at incredibly high levels, which can be considered dangerous for high cholesterol patients. Different types of fish have different cholesterol levels. In fact, some fishes also contain healthy fats, which can help you control your cholesterol levels. For example, Salmon cooked in dry heat has 52 mg of cholesterol, while cooked shrimp has approximately 161 mg of cholesterol. If you like fish and are trying to lower cholesterol levels, you can add fish with low cholesterol levels to your diet. Tilapia, cod, canned tuna, and trout are some fishes you can easily include in your regular diet.

Fish & High Cholesterol Levels

Fish meat is an excellent source of healthy protein and omega-3 fatty acids. While fish contain varying cholesterol levels, the fat composition in fish helps people control their blood cholesterol levels. If you have incredibly high cholesterol, you can eat fish with comparatively low cholesterol levels and avoid the ones with high cholesterol. To make things easier, we have prepared the following table featuring some popular fishes and their cholesterol composition. It will help you decide which fish to eat and which to avoid for good health. So let’s quickly explore the fish and their cholesterol levels shared below.

Fish & Cholesterol Levels (Based on 100-gram Quantity)

Fish & Cholesterol Levels (Based on 100-gram Quantity)                                  
                         Fish                           Cholesterol Level (Values in mg)
                        Salmon                                        55                
                        Lobster                                        72                
                       Mackerel                                        95                
                       Sardines                                        142              
                       Shellfish                                      189              
                         Crab                                          53                
                         Tuna                                          60                
                        Oysters                                        71                
                         Trout                                        59                
                        Shrimps                                        189              
                        Mussels                                        56                

 Now that you’re aware of the cholesterol content of different fishes for every 100 grams, you can pick the fish with the lowest cholesterol levels. Since fish contains plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, protein, and essential fish oil, you should not stop having fish altogether. Picking the right fish and moderating the quantity can be reasonable enough to control your cholesterol.  

Book a Free Session

Eat Fish to Lower Cholesterol

Eating fish is linked to numerous health benefits because of its high nutrition profile. Most fishes are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. These acids are known to lower bad cholesterol levels and increase good cholesterol levels. Fishes are also low in saturated and trans fat, so they don’t necessarily contribute to high blood cholesterol levels. They are also low in calories, so they can be easily added to any healthy diet plan.

But it should be noted that not all fishes are equal regarding their nutrition profile and cholesterol-lowering effects. Some fish (sardines, Salmon, etc.) are high in omega-3 fatty acids and can be excellent at lowering cholesterol levels. In contrast, there are fishes like swordfish and tuna, which are high in saturated fat and calories and may not necessarily have the same cholesterol-lowering effects as sardines and Salmon. If you want to lower cholesterol by eating fish, picking the right fish and consuming it in moderation is the key.

Is Fish Oil Good for Lowering Cholesterol?

Now that you have a decent idea of whether fish is good for cholesterol  or not, let’s quickly understand if fish oil is good for lowering cholesterol. Fish oil is a nutritious dietary supplement rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are linked to numerous health benefits, like reduced risk of heart disease. Fish oils are also effective at lowering cholesterol levels when combined with regular exercise and a healthy diet.

Fish oil is healthy and can be consumed, provided the consumption levels are in moderation. Although numerous research studies and clinical trials are currently underway to determine the precise mechanism using which fish oil impacts cholesterol levels, many health experts believe fish oil is beneficial for people with high cholesterol due to their omega-3 fatty acid content. You can talk to your doctor regarding the ideal prescribed dosage of fish oil to prevent any potential health side effects.

Which are the High Cholesterol Fishes One Should Avoid?

If you are looking for a ready list of high cholesterol fish to avoid, you’re at the right place. Based on the cholesterol levels per 100 grams of fish, the following fishes should be avoided:

  • Lobster
  • Squid
  • Shrimp
  • Salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Trout
  • Swordfish

If your cholesterol levels are not too high and your health condition allows, you can have some amount of these fishes because not all fatty fishes are bad for people with high cholesterol. But instead of eating these fishes, you can consider eating Flounder, Cod, Tilapia, Haddock, Pollock, and Catfish, as they contain the least cholesterol levels and are considered safe for people with high cholesterol.

Is It OK to Consume Fish if You’re Watching Your Cholesterol?

If dietary changes have been recommended to you as part of your treatment plan, including the correct type of fish can be an excellent option. While there is cholesterol in fish, there are other healthy nutrients as well. Most fish are a rich source of omega-3s, which are considered healthy dietary fats that can help you maintain good cholesterol levels. They can even help you lower your triglycerides and lower LDL.

Omega-3 aids in various brain and body functions, so don’t ignore them. Since our body cannot naturally produce omega-3 fatty acids, it is essential to fill the requirement through food. Fishes like tuna, Salmon, and trout are good and healthy sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Additionally, most fishes are low in trans fat and saturated fat, making them a healthy option for people with high cholesterol levels. While most low cholesterol fish are safe for consumption, you can still consult your doctor for personalized recommendations based on your health conditions.  

Cholesterol & Fish: Final Words

Cholesterol in fish is a crucial consideration point, especially for people with high cholesterol levels. While fish high in calories, saturated fat, and cholesterol should be avoided or consumed in extreme moderation, leaner fishes with little to no saturated fat, low cholesterol, and omega-3 fatty acids can be consumed without worry. You should look at the levels of dietary cholesterol and omega-3 fatty acids while picking the right fish for your diet. If you have any other underlying health condition, it is recommended to first consult a doctor for personalized guidance. It would prevent any potential side effects.  


Is it OK to Eat Fish if You’re Watching Your Cholesterol?

Yes, it is Ok to eat fish if you’re currently watching your cholesterol levels. In fact, some studies have linked fish consumption with improved HDL levels. If you consume fish high in omega-3 fatty acids and low cholesterol and saturated fat, you can find it easier to control your cholesterol levels. Tilapia and Cod are some healthy fish options you can consider if you are watching your cholesterol.

Which Fish is Lowest in Cholesterol?

There are many fishes low in cholesterol, like flounder, catfish, cod, tilapia, haddock, and Pollock. These fishes are low in saturated fat and calories, making them good choices for people with high cholesterol. As long as you don’t exceed your prescribed daily cholesterol limit you can eat your favorite fish, but in moderation.

What Fish Should I Avoid if I Have High Cholesterol?

People with high cholesterol should avoid any fish high in saturated fat and calories. Shrimps, trout, mackerel, tuna, and swordfish are some fishes you should avoid eating. But you can eat your favorite fish if you can reduce the consumption level to bring the cholesterol level within the ideal limits. However, it is best to take personalized guidance from a doctor to avoid any side effects.

What Seafood Raises Your Cholesterol?

Shrimps and lobsters are common seafood items that can raise your cholesterol. Both are crustaceans, a type of animal naturally high in cholesterol. If you like eating them, you can moderate the quantity to include them in your balanced and healthy diet plan. Not all seafood options are high in cholesterol, so you can look for other options like


This website's content is provided only for educational reasons and is not meant to be a replacement for professional medical advice. Due to individual differences, the reader should contact their physician to decide whether the material is applicable to their case.