Ask Peggy

How much cholesterol is recommended per day?

DEAR PEGGY: The recipes that you publish show nutritional values and I'm especially interested in cholesterol values. How much cholesterol is recommended per day? —C.A., Essex, United Kingdom

According to the American Heart Association and also the USDA's 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, we should limit dietary cholesterol to 300 mg per day. However, if you are watching cholesterol, you also need to limit saturated fat to less than 10 percent of your total calories and minimize trans fat as much as possible. Both saturated fat and trans fat increase cholesterol levels. In other words, if you typically eat about 2,000 calories per day, that would mean a saturated fat limit of 200 calories or 22 grams.