Mastering Meatless Meals

Limit your meat intake. Go vegetarian. Lower your cholesterol.

Benefits of meatless meals

  • Lower cholesterol levels
  • Prevent overweight/obesity
  • Heart-healthy
  • Cost less

Will I get adequate protein without the meat?

Yes. A lot of plant-based foods such as tofu, beans and legumes are high in protein.

What is a meatless meal?

A meatless meal is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans. It excludes all kinds of meat, including beef, chicken, pork and turkey.

How is it related to cholesterol?

Animal products are typically high in cholesterol and consuming too much of it can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Try to aim for less than 200 mg of cholesterol per day.

What to choose then?

Replace meat with dried beans, lentils, legumes, tofu, soybean and nuts. These foods are low in cholesterol, but still high in protein.

Meat Eater vs. Vegetarian

Food Item Serving Size Cholesterol (mg)
Chicken breast 6 oz. 146
Beef sirloin steak 6 oz. 156
Roasted turkey 6 oz. 120
Pork spareribs 6 oz. 206
85% Lean beef patty 3 oz. 77
Egg yolk 1 180
Food Item Serving Size Cholesterol (mg)
Tofu 1 block 0
Dried cooked beans 1 cup 0
Almonds 1 oz.. 0
Peanut butter 1 tbsp. 0
Bulgur 1 cup 0
Canned tuna 3 oz. 31

Meal Ideas


  • Three scrambled egg whites and one toast
  • Low-fat cottage cheese and fruits
  • Nut butter and banana toast
  • Cereal with skim milk


  • Salad with nuts, low-fat cheese and chickpeas
  • Pasta with tuna
  • Black bean taco
  • Minestrone soup
  • Mexican bean salad


  • Veggie pizza
  • Tofu stir-fry with brown rice
  • Bean enchiladas
  • Sweet potato and bean chili
  • Eggplant lasagna

To schedule an appointment with a University Hospitals dietitian, please call 216-844-1499. A physician referral is required to make an appointment. Our schedulers can assist in obtaining the appropriate referral.

Presented by:

Heather Butscher, MS, RD, LD
Outpatient Clinical Dietitian, Nutrition Services
University Hospitals Chagrin Highlands Health Center
3909 Orange Place, Suite 4100
Orange Village, OH 44122

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