Only foods of animal origin contain cholesterol. Egg yolks and organ meats are especially high in cholesterol. And in varying amounts, meat, poultry, seafood, dairy products and animal fats, such as butter or lard, all contain cholesterol, too.
On the other hand, foods of plant origin, such as vegetables and fruits, beans and peas, grains and seeds, contain no cholesterol. However, when vegetables, grains, etc., are combined with other ingredients in recipes, the end product may contain cholesterol.
This happens when grains are combined with eggs in baked goods, or when cheese and butter are added to vegetable dishes. Other examples include refried beans made with lard, greens cooked with bacon, and muffins made with butter and egg yolks. Depending on the recipe, the amount of cholesterol per serving will vary.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has not come up with a suggested guideline for cholesterol as it has with many nutrients by setting a daily Recommended Dietary Allowance.
However, the American Dietetic Association recommends that healthy individuals consume no more than 300 milligrams of cholesterol on a daily basis.
Anyone who has been diagnosed with high cholesterol should consult with a doctor or health care professional for a list of high-cholesterol foods to avoid. Sometimes even a carefully controlled diet cannot reduce cholesterol levels significantly. In that case, your doctor may recommend medication as well.