There are roughly 82–95 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol in 100 grams (g) of cooked lamb. Factors that affect the amount of cholesterol include the cut of meat and whether the lamb is grass-fed or grain-fed.

Some people have high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. In these individuals, the liver produces more cholesterol than the person needs due to genetics, lifestyle, or a combination of both.

If there is too much LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream, it can accumulate on blood vessel walls. Health professionals call this “plaque,” and it can harden arteries and lead to heart disease.

One of the ways to manage high LDL cholesterol is to monitor dietary cholesterol intake.

This article discusses lamb and cholesterol, including how it compares with other types of meat, the healthiest way to prepare it, and low cholesterol protein sources.

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It is best for people with high cholesterol to consult their doctor for dietary guidance. Eating lamb in moderation may be safe for some, depending on their cholesterol levels.

Small amounts of dietary cholesterol may not raise blood cholesterol levels. Research has shown that when people eat more cholesterol-containing foods, their livers produce less cholesterol as a way of maintaining consistent cholesterol levels.

However, except for eggs and shrimp, most food sources of cholesterol also contain significant amounts of saturated fat, which may lead to higher chances of heart disease.

Also, cooking foods containing cholesterol may increase the level of cholesterol oxidation products (COPs) they contain, according to 2015 research.

COPs have been shown to be:

So, it may benefit some people to limit their dietary intake of cholesterol-containing foods such as lamb.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), 100 g of cooked lamb has between 82 and 95 mg of cholesterol.

The amount of cholesterol can vary according to the cut of the meat and whether the animal ate grain or grass.

Lamb cutGrain-fedGrass fed
whole leg, shank, and sirloin82 mg89 mg
shoulder, blade chop, bone-in86 mg91 mg
rib rack, roast ready, bone-in92 mg88 mg
loin chop, bone-in91 mg92 mg
ground lamb, pan grilled89 mg89 mg

Like lamb, the cholesterol values for other types of meat can vary according to the cut.

MeatCholesterol per 100 g
lamb, grass-fed rib rack88 mg
beef, sirloin steak89 mg
pork, boneless loin chop73 mg
chicken, skinless, boneless breast116 mg
turkey, breast, meat only80 mg
duck, meat and skin84 mg

The USDA has a food search tool consumers can use to look up nutritional values specific to each cut of meat.

Reducing the saturated fat in lamb can make it easier to include as part of a balanced diet. A person can do this by:

  • choosing a lean cut of lamb such as the leg or loin
  • trimming away visible fat before cooking
  • grilling lamb on a rack above a drip tray to allow the fat to melt off the meat rather than cook into it

Possibly preferable to grilling is a method known as “sous vide,” in which a person vacuum seals meat in plastic, immerses it in water, and cooks it slowly using lower heat.

A 2021 study comparing sous vide to grilling lamb patties found that in addition to retaining the meat’s moisture, the sous vide method reduced the formation of cholesterol oxidation compounds and lipids.

Avoiding the microwave may also increase the health benefits of meat, according to an older study from 2014. The study found that COPs in pork samples increased more after microwaving compared with other cooking methods.

There is no cholesterol in plant foods. However, many plant-based foods are good sources of protein.

Cholesterol-free plant-based protein options include:

  • nuts and nut butter
  • seeds
  • lentils
  • beans
  • chickpeas
  • broccoli
  • greens
  • peas
  • quinoa
  • potatoes
  • soy milk
  • seaweed
  • tempeh
  • spinach
  • veggie patties
  • tofu

In addition to protein, these foods contain beneficial ingredients such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Cholesterol is essential for important bodily processes, but too much may increase a person’s risk of heart disease.

Lamb has cholesterol in comparable amounts to other types of meat. Factors that affect the amount of cholesterol include the cut and the animal’s diet.

There is no cholesterol in plant food. There is a variety of plant-based, cholesterol-free protein sources to choose from.