Best Sauce & Pasta for High Cholesterol: Can You Eat Pasta with High Cholesterol?

Best Sauce & Pasta for High Cholesterol: Can You Eat Pasta with High Cholesterol?

Posted on: Pasta

By Dr. Jorge, Ph.D.

Wildgrain is the first bake-from-frozen subscription box for sourdough breads, fresh pastas, and artisanal pastries. 

You might feel like you need to give up your favorite pasta dishes if you’re watching your cholesterol levels. Our goal is to squash those worries and provide you with suggestions on how to make your go-to pasta recipes heart-healthy and low-cholesterol, while still remaining delicious. Read on to find out how to manage your cholesterol while continuing to enjoy your favorite pasta dishes!

Is pasta high in cholesterol? Is pasta bad if I have high cholesterol? Is pasta OK if you have high cholesterol?

Pasta does not contain cholesterol, but certain kinds of pasta can contribute to high cholesterol levels. This includes white pasta, or pasta made from refined grains. Studies have shown that although refined grains do not contain cholesterol, they can still result in raised cholesterol levels.

What pasta is best for high cholesterol? 

Pasta made from whole grains is the best option for those with high cholesterol. Swapping foods made with refined grains with whole grains alternatives has shown to improve total cholesterol levels. This is because whole-grain pasta is an excellent source of soluble fiber – soluble fiber can bind to cholesterol in the small intestine, promoting the release of cholesterol from the body.

Can pasta help to lower cholesterol? What kind of pasta is good to lower cholesterol?

Whole-grain pasta or pasta alternatives like chickpea pasta or lentil pasta can help to lower cholesterol levels. Both whole grains and legumes like chickpeas and lentils are high in soluble fiber, which is instrumental in lowering cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, and promoting overall heart health.

What pasta sauce is best for high cholesterol? Are there low-cholesterol pasta sauces?

Tomato-based sauces are generally best for high cholesterol as these sauces do not contain any cholesterol. Additionally, tomatoes are a great source of lycopene, which is a plant compound known to reduce cholesterol levels. Meat-based tomato sauces and pesto sauce can also be good options as most of these sauces contain low levels of cholesterol. Before picking a pasta sauce, be sure to check the nutrition label for cholesterol and saturated fat content. For reference, if you have risk factors for heart disease, it is recommended to limit your cholesterol intake to no more than 200 milligrams per day.

Is pasta sauce bad for cholesterol? What type of spaghetti sauce is bad for cholesterol? Is tomato sauce bad for high cholesterol?

Certain pasta sauces, like those with a lot of saturated fat, can raise cholesterol levels. This includes cream, cheese, and butter-based sauces. Because of the ingredients used to make them, pasta sauces like vodka sauce and alfredo sauce are high in cholesterol and saturated fats. However, since tomato sauce doesn't contain any high-fat ingredients and tomatoes themselves can help lower cholesterol, it's usually a great choice for people with high cholesterol.

What pasta dishes are the best for high cholesterol? 

Whole-grain pasta or healthier pasta substitutes (such as chickpea, lentil, or vegetable pasta) are the best pasta dishes for those who have high cholesterol. For the healthiest and lowest cholesterol dish, pasta or pasta substitutes should be served with sauces low in saturated fat and cholesterol, like tomato sauce or pesto sauce. A heart-healthy pasta dish can also be achieved by adding an equal amount of vegetables to the pasta.

What pasta dishes are the worst for high cholesterol? What pasta dish should I avoid if I have high cholesterol?

Pasta dishes made with white pasta or pasta high in saturated fat, like gnocchi, are not ideal options for people with high cholesterol. When it comes to pairing sauces, any sauces that contain butter, cheese, or cream should be avoided as they are high in saturated fat and cholesterol, which will only contribute to raised cholesterol levels.

Where can I buy healthy pasta and pasta sauce online?

At Wildgrain, we specialize in making high-quality, fresh breads that are delivered directly to your door. Wildgrain is the first bake-from-frozen delivery subscription service for breads, rolls, pastries, and fresh pastas. Some of our popular pastas include Fresh Fettuccine, Fresh Rigatoni, and Fresh Tonnarelli. We also make Classic Marinara Sauce. Learn more about Wildgrain and our artisanal baking and cooking methods. 


About the Author

Dr. Jorge has been a public health researcher for many years, holding both a Bachelor's degree and a Ph.D. in Chemistry. They presently work as a medical writer and love being able to assist others in understanding various health and scientific topics.


This content is for informational use only and does not replace professional nutrition and/or medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is not a substitute for and should not be relied upon for specific nutrition and/or medical recommendations. Please talk with your doctor about any questions or concerns.