One in every six American adults have high cholesterol, according to a recent CDC report. Keep your cholesterol in check with these delicious low-cholesterol recipes.
Tips for Lowering Cholesterol
First things first: Your body needs cholesterol to function. But it becomes a problem when it builds up in your artery walls, putting you at risk for heart disease and stroke. We talked to registered dietitian Carol Meerschaert to get advice on what to look for in low-cholesterol recipes.
- Eat high-fiber foods such as oats, seeds, nuts, whole grains, and beans.
- Limit animal products because of the saturated fat.
- Switch to olive or canola oil instead of butter or animal fat.
- Make plants the focus, followed by whole grains, then protein.
- Cut back instead of cutting out. Meerschaert's advice is "you can have a burger or steak but keep it small and serve with lots of fresh veggies and fruit.
Baked Banana Bread Oatmeal
Oats are a great cholesterol-lowering ingredient to add to your diet. Meerschaert suggests replacing the egg with 1 tablespoon of flaxseed stirred into 3 tablespoons of water in Southern in Law's baked banana bread oatmeal.
Flaxseed Pizza Crust
Flaxseed is high in fiber and can help lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels. Make a heart-healthy pizza with flaxseed crust like Imma Eat That.
SWEET POTATO SOUL
Sweet Potato Falafel Sandwich
Having meatless meals is a great way to cut back on fat. Don't sacrifice flavor with these sweet potato falafel sandwiches from Sweet Potato Soul.
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quinoa Bowl
Beans are rock stars when it comes to lowering cholesterol. Add black beans to a quinoa bowl like Recipe Runner does.
SPOONFUL OF FLAVOR
Three-Bean Vegetarian Chili
Spoonful of Flavor's vegetarian chili is the perfect example of a low-cholesterol recipe. Lots of vegetables, beans, and no meat is a winning combination when it comes lowering cholesterol.
GIMME SOME OVEN
Mediterranean Farro Salad
This Mediterranean farro salad from Gimme Some Oven is the perfect heart-healthy summer salad. Meerschaert cautions to watch how much feta you add—or switch it out for tofu.
FOXES LOVE LEMONS
Slow Cooker Barley and Chickpea Risotto
Eating whole grains instead of processed white grains is an easy diet swap, suggests Meerschaert. This barley and chickpea risotto from Foxes Love Lemons is chock-full of fiber and protein.
KEEPIN' IT KIND
Orange Ginger Tofu Bowl
Soy protein, like that found in tofu, lowers cholesterol says Meerschaert. Try it with an orange-ginger marinade like Keepin' It Kind.
AMUSE YOUR BOUCHE
White Bean Mash with Vegetables and Pesto
Amuse Your Bouche's white bean mash with vegetables and pesto is a healthier spin on comfort food.
THE COOKIE ROOKIE
Salmon with Avocado Salsa
Omega-3 fats like those found in salmon raise HDL (good cholesterol) levels, says Meerschaert. The Cookie Rookie's recipe also has avocado salsa—loaded with good fat—to top the fish.
PETITE ALLERGY TREATS
Quinoa Sloppy Joe
Regularly having meals that don't contain meat is a habit that will help lower cholesterol. Petite Allergy Treats gives you an alternative with her quinoa sloppy Joe.
THE FOODIE DIETITIAN
Loaded Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes have more fiber and fewer carbs than white potatoes, making them a heart-healthy and filling dinner option. Kara Lydon from The Foodie Dietitian makes a vegan loaded sweet potato that is anything but ordinary.
YUMMY HEALTHY EASY
Meerschaert recommends a water-based dessert (instead of cream based), and Yummy Healthy Easy delivers with her three-ingredient watermelon granita.
PEAS & CRAYONS
Zucchini Noodle Soup
One of Meerschaert's tips for low-cholesterol recipes? "Make plants the center of your plate." Peas & Crayons does just that in this zucchini noodle soup recipe.
TWO PEAS AND THEIR POD
Egg Muffins with Sausage, Spinach, and Cheese
For a healthy take on breakfast muffins, try this recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod. "Using turkey sausage instead of pork, and egg whites instead of whole eggs, does cut cholesterol and saturated fat," says Meerschaert.
Green Summer Soup
This soup from Green Evi is filled to the brim with fresh veggies and herbs, making for a healthy meal. This summertime dish will keep you cool, even as temperatures rise.
You may think it's the beef and sausage that make meatballs taste so great—until you try Minimalist Baker's meatballs. Her vegan meatballs are heart healthy and so good you may forget how much you like the originals.
WHOLE & HEAVENLY OVEN
Steel-cut oats are another whole grain to work into your diet to lower cholesterol. Whole & Heavenly Oven gives you the oatmeal base; choose mix-ins to make it your own!
Heart-healthy oats aren't just for breakfast. Meerschaert advises mixing some into burgers, meatballs, and meatloaf. Ask and you shall receive with It's Yummi baked turkey meatballs.
PEANUT BUTTER & PEPPERS
Maintaining a healthy weight also keeps cholesterol levels in check, says Meerschaert. These lentil-stuffed peppers from Peanut Butter & Peppers have only 233 calories each.
YOUR CUP OF CAKE
Thai Peanut Pasta
Peanuts have monosaturated fats—the heart-healthy kind of fat—making them a great addition to your next meal. You can make Your Cup of Cake's Thai peanut pasta low carb by switching to spiralized veggie noodles.
GLUTEN FREE VEGAN PANTRY
Beets have been shown to promote heart health—and Gluten Free Vegan Pantry's hummus is chock-full of them.
THE CLEVER CARROT
Spiced Eggplant, Chicken, and Chickpea Salad
Bulgur is a whole grain and a great substitute for pasta or white rice. The Clever Carrot mixes hers with chicken, eggplant, and chickpeas for a complete meal.
Quinoa, Fennel, and Cherry Salad
"High-nitrate vegetables, including fennel, help lower blood pressure," says Meerschaert. This quinoa, fennel, and cherry salad from Naturally Ella is a great introduction to the herb.
PINCH OF YUM
Sofritas Veggie Bowls
Pinch of Yum's spicy veggie bowl tastes just like a Chipotle burrito bowl—a very, verygood thing.