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High cholesterol and triglycerides in the bloodstream can be significant in the development of tinnitus, hearing loss and vertigo.  Following a low fat/low cholesterol diet can help reduce your blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which can result in improvement in tinnitus symptoms.

To lower your total cholesterol level it is important to limit your intake of high-fat animal products (such as meat, poultry, cheese, milk, eggs and ice cream).  To lower you LDL (“bad” cholesterol) level it is also important to limit your consumption of processed foods and baked goods.  The goal is to eat less than 200mg of cholesterol per day.

To lower your triglycerides it is important to limit your intake of high-sugar foods and drinks, refined carbohydrates (such as white bread and rice), saturated fats, trans fats and alcohol.

Food Group Foods Allowed Foods to Avoid

Meat/Meat Substitute
(6oz per day or less)

(Limit red meat to 3 servings per week)

  • Lean cuts/ well trimmed beef, pork or lamb

Examples: loin, round, select grade

  • Poultry without skin
  • Fish, shellfish (without butter)
  • Low fat/low sodium lunch meats
  • Dry beans and peas
  • Tofu
  • Fatty cuts of beef, pork, lamb, regular ground beef, spare ribs, organ meats
  • Processed meats like sausage, bacon, salami or hot dogs

(3 or less yolks/week)

  • Egg whites (2 whites can be substituted for one whole egg in recipes)
  • Cholesterol-free egg substitute
  • No more than 3 yolks/week (including eggs used in cooking and baking)

Dairy Products

  • Skim or 1% milk
  • Buttermilk
  • Nonfat or low fat yogurt
  • Nonfat or 1% soy or rice beverages
  • Cheese: low fat, natural or soy cheese with <3g fat/serving
  • Low fat or nonfat frozen yogurt or ice cream
  • Low fat or nonfat coffee cream, sour cream and cream cheese
  • 2% or whole milk
  • Whole milk yogurt
  • Regular cheeses: Colby, American, Blue, Brie, Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Whole milk Mozzarella, Parmesan
  • Regular ice cream and premium frozen yogurt
  • Cream, half and half, whipping cream, whipped topping, sour cream, cream cheese

Fats and Oils
(6 tsp or less/day)

  • Unsaturated oils: Olive, Canola, Peanut, Soybean
  • Margarine: made from oils listed above, w/ no trans fatty acids
  • Low fat Salad Dressings/Mayo
  • Seeds/Nuts: Natural Peanut Butter -2 Tbsp
  • Cocoa powder
  • Coconut oil, palm kernel oil, palm oil
  • Butter, lard, shortening, bacon fat, stick margarine
  • Coconut, peanut butter with trans fat
  • Milk Chocolate

Bread, Cereals, Rice or Pasta

  • Bread with 2g of fiber or more: whole grain English muffins, bagels, buns
  • Corn, flour and whole wheat tortillas
  • Cereals: oat, wheat, multigrain, corn
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Brown or wild rice
  • Crackers: low fat animal, graham, soda, 2g fat and 2g fiber/serving
  • Homemade baked goods using unsaturated oils, skim or 1% milk and egg
  • Croissants
  • Most Granolas
  • White Pasta
  • White Rice
  • High fat crackers and snack foods
  • Commercially baked pastries, biscuits
  • Doughnuts
  • Pies


  • Fresh or frozen without added salt or fat
  • Low sodium tomato/vegetable juices
  • Fried or prepared with butter, cheese or cream sauce


  • Fresh, frozen or canned in natural juice
  • Avocados, olives
  • Fruit served with cream sauce


  • Water, decaf tea
  • Alcohol


  • Baked chips or unsalted pretzels
  • Popcorn without butter or salt
  • Regular chips
  • High fat processed and convenience foods

Cooking Tips

  • Avoid deep fried foods.
  • Trim visible fat off meats and remove skin from poultry before cooking.
  • Bake, broil, boil, poach or roast poultry, fish and lean meats.
  • Drain and discard fat that drains out of meat as you cook it.
  • Add little or no fat to foods.
  • Use vegetable oil sprays to grease pans for cooking or baking.
  • Steam vegetables.
  • Use herbs or no-oil marinades to flavor foods.

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Paparella Minneapolis
Riverside Park Plaza
701 25th Avenue South
Suite 200
Minneapolis, MN 55454
866-316-0769 toll-free