A diet high in saturated fats and cholesterol causes fatty deposits to clog blood vessels and hinder the flow of blood to the arteries. Balanced meals offering foods low in cholesterol can prevent some of the most common health issues plaguing us, including heart disease, heart attack, angina, stroke, blood clots and atherosclerosis.
The low calorie content of fruits helps fill daily meals with foods low in cholesterol. Fruits make versatile snacks, desserts, side dishes and main entrees. Incorporate fruits and vegetables in salads to increase your daily servings. Replace fatty desserts with frozen fruit, such as melon, berries, bananas and grapes. Increasing fruit consumption can also improve cholesterol levels, especially in heart disease patients. Fruit additionally prevents vitamin deficiency, provides nutrients, wards off illnesses and hydrates the body.
High in dietary fibre and nutrients, vegetables help regulate your metabolism and stabilise cholesterol levels by providing a healthy boost of vitamins C, E and K, which also reduces the risk of heart disease. Prepare meat stews or casseroles using a variety of vegetables. Wash, slice and refrigerate raw vegetables (like carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli) for quick snacks and easy cooking.
Providing a boost of dietary fibre and energy, grains not only lower cholesterol levels, but also aid in weight control. Significant sources of foods low in cholesterol include whole grain breads, beans, cereals, rice and pasta. Start your morning with English muffins, bagels or oatmeal. Choose pita, rye and pumpernickel bread over biscuits and cheese breads. Avoid croissants, pastries, crackers and other baked goods containing saturated oils.
A main course using foods low in cholesterol may include lean red meats, chicken and turkey, which fight bad cholesterol with favourable sources of protein, vitamins and minerals. Cutting away extra fat and removing the skin enhances the benefits of adding lean meats to your diet. Keep meat dishes low in cholesterol by seasoning with herbs, spices, lemon juice, and fat-free marinades.
Beans and Peas
Beans and peas often supply vegetarians with a resourceful meat substitute, but also offer a host of foods low in cholesterol. The most popular and healthiest beans include kidney, lima, soy, pinto, black and navy. Green peas, chickpeas, black-eyed peas, lentils and vegetarian cooked beans make hearty soups and salad toppings. Create vegetarian chilli for the ultimate low-cholesterol meal.
All varieties of fish provide low cholesterol choices for lunch and dinner with most selections lower in saturated fat and cholesterol than meat or poultry, including steamed cod, pickled herring, cooked halibut, perch and flounder. Eat salmon, sardines and tuna in moderation. Use shellfish sparingly in your diet and avoid breaded or fried fish to keep your meals low in cholesterol.
Egg yolks are notorious for increasing cholesterol levels, causing many to abandon the egg as a healthy ingredient or meal. Choose egg whites (or egg substitutes) for a low cholesterol option. Prepare egg white omelettes with fresh vegetables, and use egg whites when baking and cooking main dishes.