Your body needs some cholesterol. It’s responsible for making several hormones and providing structural support for cells and veins. But your system makes everything you need. The cholesterol you get in your diet is extra. It’s okay to have some cholesterol, although you shouldn’t have more than 300 milligrams a day, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010. The controversy over which has more cholesterol, white chicken or red meat, really depends on which type of red meat you prefer.
White vs. Red
White skinless chicken breast has approximately 85 milligrams of cholesterol in a 3 1/2-ounce cooked serving. Lean ground beef has a bit less, with 78 milligrams for the same serving size. Beef sirloin is comparable -- it has 89 milligrams of cholesterol in each 3 1/2-ounce broiled portion. If you have lamb, you’ll get way more cholesterol. A 3 1/2-ounce prepared cut from the fore shank of the lamb has around 106 milligrams. Veal is even worse, giving you 135 milligrams of cholesterol from a 3 1/2-ounce cooked top round cut.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010
- USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Chicken, Broilers or Fryers, Breast, Meat Only, Cooked, Roasted
- The University of California San Francisco Medical Center: Cholesterol Content of Foods