Approximately 71 million Americans (more than 20%) have high cholesterol. Your diet is very important if you’re trying to lower yours. Follow these heart-healthy guidelines:
- Eat whole grains and beans. They’re high in soluble fiber, which basically binds to the cholesterol you eat so that it passes out of your body instead of sticking around to clog up your arteries.
- Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. Some fruits and veggies contain lots of soluble fiber, while others contain more insoluble fiber (which is also good for you but doesn’t affect cholesterol). Eat a variety of fruits and veggies so you get plenty of both kinds of fiber.
- Eat vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds. The monounsaturated fats in these foods can lower your LDL cholesterol, aka bad cholesterol. Walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and flax seeds are all good choices.
- Eat fatty fish, nuts, and avocado. Omega-3 fatty acids may help raise HDL cholesterol, which is your good cholesterol. Salmon is great for Omega-3s, but so are lots of other fish like trout, mackerel, and sardines.
- Limit fatty animal products, such as whole milk, processed meats, and high-fat cuts of red meat. Saturated fat, present in all those foods, has long been considered a major threat to heart health because it can raise the amount of cholesterol in your blood. Play it safe by keeping plenty of variety in your diet and not relying solely on animal-based foods for your protein.
Check back every Friday in the month of February for a new Recipe that can help lower your cholesterol and improve your heart-health!
Apple Pie Oatmeal
Oats are an excellent source of soluble fiber, and adding apples means you get even more.
(Makes 2 servings)
- 1/2 cup steel cut oats
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup chopped apples (approximately 1 small apple)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- Honey to taste, after cooking
- Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until fully cooked.
Note: You can double the spices if you like a strong flavor. Also, the honey really makes this dish. It’s what brings out the full apple pie flavor. however, you don’t need a lot if your apples are sweet.
Courtesy of The Gracious Pantry
Apple and Chicken Egg White Omelet
When you’re looking for a savory breakfast, make an egg white omelet. (All of the cholesterol in eggs is found in the yolk.) This one is full heart-healthy nuts, apples, and collard greens, so you won’t miss the cheese.
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 cup (8) egg whites*
- 1 small (150g) cooked chicken breast, shredded
- 1 Golden Delicious apple, cored, peeled and diced
- 3-4 large collard leaves, stems removed, finely chopped
- 20g hazelnuts, lightly toasted and crushed
- Pinch salt and pepper
- Add coconut oil to small non-stick pan and heat over medium heat.
- Add the pieces of chicken, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until nice and golden brown ;
- Add apples and cook until softened, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a small plate and reserve;
- Add collards and cook until wilted, about 30-45 seconds. Add reserved chicken and apples back into the pan.
- Pour in the egg whites and sprinkle chopped hazelnuts overtop.
- Reduce heat, cover loosely (a pizza pan works wonders for this) and cook for about 5 minutes, until the omelet is completely set and opaque throughout.
- Delicately slide omelet onto serving plate and serve immediately.
Recipe Originally on The Healthy Foodie
Black Bean and Corn Burger
This burger comes with beans and oats, both of which are full of soluble fiber. Adding avocado to the ‘wich throws some omega-3s in there, too.
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cups (or 2 cans) cooked black beans, divided
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Black pepper or red pepper flakes, to taste
- 2/3 cup quick oats or bread crumbs, plus extra as needed
- 3/4 cup fresh (or frozen and thawed) corn
- Sauté onion and garlic in the olive oil for eight to ten minutes, or until golden, soft, and fragrant.
- Add 2 cups of the beans, the cumin, the paprika, the chili powder, the sea salt, and pepper to taste. Stir in the saute pan till all is warm.
- Preheat your oven to 350° F.
- Add the oats to the bowl of a food processor and pulse them a few times. Add the onion, garlic, and bean mixture. Process everything together, until it's well combined but still has texture.
- Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl. Add the last cup of black beans and the corn and mix well with your hands. Check for seasoning and season to taste. If the mixture is too mushy to form into patties, add a little more oats or bread crumbs.
- Shape mixture into four large or six smaller patties. Transfer burgers to a baking sheet and bake for 30 to 35 minutes (or until golden), flipping once through. Alternately, you can chill them for twenty minutes before transferring them to a grill and cooking through. You can also pan fry them in olive oil until golden on each side.
Recipe Courtesy of Food52
Honey Mustard Salmon with Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad
The Omega-3s in the salmon unite with the soluble fiber in the Brussels sprouts to create one delicious, heart healthy meal you can make in UNDER TEN MINUTES.
- 4 Salmon Fillets
- 2 tablespoon Honey
- 2 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
- Juice from small lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
- 16 ounces of Brussels Sprouts, shaved
- 1 small Fuji Apple, sliced thin.
- 2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Preheat broiler. In a small bowl combine honey, Dijon mustard, and lemon juice for salmon fillets. Coat all fillets and place in the broiler for about 5 minutes or until cooked through and lightly brown.
- In another small bowl combine rice wine vinegar and honey. Toss together Brussels sprouts and apples.
- Allow salmon to cool before placing on top of your Brussels sprout salad!
Recipe Courtesy of See & Savour
Article adapted from Buzzfeed