Although french fries don’t contain dietary cholesterol, they can be high in trans fats and saturated fats, which can increase the risk of high cholesterol.
The liver makes enough cholesterol for the body to function properly. Dietary cholesterol, found in animal products, can raise cholesterol levels.
Foods high in trans fats or saturated fats can also raise unhealthy cholesterol levels in the body, which can lead to health problems.
This article examines the link between French fries and cholesterol, healthier alternatives, and other foods to eat or avoid to manage cholesterol levels.

Are french fries high in cholesterol?

French fries do not contain cholesterol. However, if they are high in trans fats and saturated fats, they can raise cholesterol in the body. Many fried foods contain trans fats. Trans fats appear in non-animal products when cooked in a mixture of hydrogen and vegetable oil, known as partially hydrogenated oils. Trans fats raise “bad” LDL cholesterol and lower “good” HDL cholesterol. Trans fats can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. An average serving of French fries, about 117 grams (g), contains 2.7 g of saturated fat. A daily intake of no more than 13g of saturated fat for someone consuming around 2,000 calories per day is a good limit. Eating too much saturated fat can raise LDL cholesterol levels.

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a waxy substance that the body needs to build cells and create certain vitamins and hormones. Although essential for good health, too much cholesterol can lead to health problems. Cholesterol comes from two sources: the liver, which naturally produces all the cholesterol the body needs to function properly, and animal products in the diet, including meat, seafood and dairy products.

Certain foods and lifestyle factors can lead to high cholesterol, which is a risk factor for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. There are two types of cholesterol. Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) are the “bad” cholesterol because they can cause plaque buildup in the arteries. High-density lipoproteins (HDL) are the “good” cholesterol because they reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Triglycerides are another type of blood fat that, when combined with high LDL or low HDL levels, can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Total cholesterol is the combined amount of LDL, HDL, and triglycerides in the blood.

Why is high cholesterol a problem?

The term “hypercholesterolemia” means that the body has an excess of LDL or total cholesterol. This can be concerning because cholesterol deposits in the arteries can cause plaque buildup. Plaque can cause atherosclerosis, which is the narrowing and hardening of the arteries. This reduces blood flow, which increases blood pressure and increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. High HDL cholesterol can be beneficial to health because HDL cholesterol carries LDL cholesterol from the arteries to the liver. The liver can then break down LDL cholesterol and remove it from the body. A person has high cholesterol if their total cholesterol level exceeds 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl). The medical term for high cholesterol is “hyperlipidemia”.

Alternatives to french fries to lower cholesterol

To lower the cholesterol level of french fries, you can make them at home using a healthier oil, such as:

Liquid oils may be lower in saturated fat than solid fats, such as butter or lard.

You can also reduce the amount of oil used by using an oil spray or adding a little water when cooking. Baking the fries in the oven rather than using a deep fryer can also be a healthier alternative. Traditional fries can be high in salt. It is therefore advisable to choose other seasonings, such as herbs or spices. Excess salt can raise blood pressure, a risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

Other Foods That May Raise Cholesterol

Foods that may raise cholesterol levels include:

processed meats, such as bacon, ham, and salami
take-out and fast food, such as burgers and pizza
fried foods
processed and baked foods, such as pastries, cakes, and cookies
fatty meat and skin of poultry
butter, ghee and lard
coconut oil
Palm oil
cream and ice cream
foods containing hydrogenated oils

Low Cholesterol Foods

Eating a diet high in fiber and healthy fats can help lower “bad” cholesterol and raise “good” cholesterol. A heart-healthy diet can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels. It includes foods such as:

fruits and vegetables
legumes and pulses, such as chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, and navy beans
oats and barley
whole grain breads, pastas, rice and cereals
unsalted nuts
nut butters,
healthy cooking oils, such as sunflower, sesame, or olive oil
fish, especially one high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, or sardines
lean meat
dairy or non-dairy products with reduced fat content, such as yogurt and cottage cheese with no added sugar.

Are there other ways to lower cholesterol?

There are other ways to lower cholesterol levels, including

increased physical activity
maintaining a moderate weight overall and around the mid-torso
stop or reduce smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke
limit or avoid alcohol
In addition to lifestyle changes, some people may need medication to lower their cholesterol levels. People can talk to a doctor about possible treatments.


Although French fries do not contain dietary cholesterol, they can be high in trans fats and saturated fats. Trans fats and saturated fats can raise “bad” LDL cholesterol and lower “good” HDL cholesterol. Higher LDL cholesterol and lower HDL cholesterol can lead to plaque buildup in the arteries and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. French fries can also be high in salt, which can raise blood pressure and affect heart health.

Baked fries can be a healthier alternative to fried versions. People can make homemade fries using a healthy oil, like olive oil, and seasonings, like herbs and spices.

* criptom strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the opinion of a health professional.