Keeping your heart in tip-top shape can be as easy as cooking up these healthy, delicious low cholesterol recipes.
Read on to find out more.
How To Eat For Your Heart
Eating right to lower your cholesterol can help minimize your risk for heart disease. Here are some simple cooking rules to follow to keep your meals heart-healthy:
- Stick to leaner cuts meats
- Trim away visible fat before cooking
- Drain fats during and after cooking, especially when frying food
- Choose chicken and turkey over duck and goose meats
- Discard poultry skin before cooking
- Avoid processed meats like cold cuts and canned foods
- Eat more fish, which contain heart-healthy fats Use vegetable oils for cooking
- Minimize consumption of dairy fats
- Eat more whole grains
In line with these tips, here are some easy low-cholesterol recipes to follow and add to your weekly meal planning rotation:
Low-Fat, Low-Cholesterol Recipes
1. Carrot and Ginger Soup
Perfect for when you’re feeling sniffly, this creamy and zesty soup is vegetable-based, so it keeps both calories and cholesterol low.
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 4 carrots, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 3 Tbsp fresh ginger, diced
- 1 cup cubed butternut squash
- 4 ½ cups vegetable broth
- 1 apple, diced
- 2 tsp minced chives for garnishing
- 1 ½ tsp sea salt 4 slices of wholewheat toast
- 1 12 oz can coconut milk
- 1 pear for garnish, diced
Step 1: Sauté Ingredients
In a stockpot, pour in the oil and place over medium heat. Sauté the onions and carrots until soft. Add the garlic, ginger, squash, and apple. Sauté until ingredients become fragrant.
Step 2: Season and Simmer
Add salt and broth, reducing heat to medium-low. Cover and let simmer for 45 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
Step 3: Blend the Mixture
Transfer the mixture to your blender of choice and pulse. Add the coconut milk, then season if necessary.
Step 4: Add Garnishes and Serve
Garnish with pear and chives. Serve the soup alongside the toasted wheat bread.
2. Vegetarian Chili
Meat can bring your cholesterol levels up, but a well-made chili can stand without meat. This vegetarian chili sticks to your ribs with a hearty serving of beans and just enough cheese to make it tasty, without packing on the fat.
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups chopped onion
- 1 15 oz can of chickpeas
- 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 15 oz can kidney beans 4 cups of water, divided
- 1 16 oz can of white beans
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 6 oz can tomato paste
- 2 Tbsp chili powder
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 14 oz cans of diced tomatoes
Step 1: Sauté Aromatics
Pour olive oil into a Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onions, sautéing for 3 minutes or until both are tender.
Step 2: Combine Beans
Pour 3 cups of water over the garlic and onions. Add sugar, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, canned tomatoes, chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, and white beans. Stir to combine the ingredients.
Step 3: Simmer and Serve
Pour the tomato paste into the last cup of water and stir until combined. Pour the tomato paste mixture into the bean chili mix.
Bring the entire mixture to a boil before reducing the heat. Simmer for 5 minutes or until the mixture is heated through.
Serve in bowls and top with cheese.
3. Linguine with Red Sauce
Nothing says comfort more than a heaped plate of pasta in a meaty red sauce. This recipe uses red bell peppers packed with vitamin C, and is a more heart-healthy alternative to red meat.
- 1 Tbsp olive oil Cooking spray
- 1 ½ cups chopped red bell pepper
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 6 oz uncooked linguine
- ⅛ tsp black pepper Sprigs of fresh basil for garnishing
Step 1: Cook Aromatics
Heat the oil in a pan covered with cooking spray over medium heat. Add the garlic and red bell pepper. Cook garlic and bell pepper for 30minutes, uncovered. Stir occasionally. Set aside to cool.
Step 2: Blend
Pulse the bell pepper mixture with your blender of choice. Add chopped basil, balsamic vinegar, and salt. Blend until mixture is smooth. Don’t forget to scrape down the sides.
Step 3: Cook Pasta
Cook the pasta according to package instructions,
Step 4: Serve
Serve the cooked pasta with the red pepper sauce on top. Sprinkle with fresh basil leaves.
4. Chickpea and Grilled Scallops Salad
Spice up your green salad with some grilled scallops. Scallops are full of healthy omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B-12.
- 1 15 oz can of chickpeas
- Chopped fresh parsley
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 4 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ lbs sea scallops
- 4 cups baby spinach
Step 1: Preheat Grill and Prepare Vegetables
Preheat your grill to high heat. Combine the vegetables sans the spinach in a bowl, along with 1 tablespoon of oil and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice.
Step 2: Grill Scallops
Drizzle 2 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp lemon juice over scallops, then season with salt and pepper. Grill the scallops for 2-3 minutes on each side.
Step 3: Serve Salad
Toss in the spinach to the vegetable mixture, add remaining olive oil and lemon juice. Toss and serve with the scallops on top.
5. Goat Cheese and Arugula Pizza
Pizza is a universal favorite, but its processed meats and oils make it not-so-healthy for the heart.
This pizza recipe uses a whole wheat crust with goat cheese and flavorful arugula.
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- 1 tsp olive oil, divided
- 1 cup red onion, sliced thin
- 1 8 oz whole wheat pizza crust
- ¾ cup baby arugula
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 ½ oz goat cheese, sliced
- ¼ tsp ground pepper Instructions:
Step 1: Preheat Oven and Toast Nuts
Preheat your oven to 450°F. Place walnuts on a baking sheet and toast for 3 minutes or until lightly brown and fragrant, before transferring on a plate to cool.
Step 2: Caramelize Onions
Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions, stirring occasionally for 6 to 8 minutes, until onions are soft and golden in color.
Step 3: Bake Pizza
Place crust on a greased baking sheet. Top with caramelized onions, walnuts, sliced goat cheese, and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper before baking.
Step 4: Bake and Serve
Bake the pizza for 7 minutes, or until the crust is crisp and golden. After taking it out of the oven, sprinkle arugula and drizzle with the remaining olive oil before serving.
6. Apple-Cinnamon Granola
Granola is made of whole grains that are not only tasty, but are also good for your heart. Whole grain oats contain soluble fiber that reduces bad cholesterol levels, while the apples add sweetness and even more fiber.
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup whole-grain toasted cereal
- ⅓ cup oat bran
- 2 tsp cinnamon powder
- ⅓ cup chopped walnuts
- ¼ tsp cardamom powder
- 2 Tbsp butter
- ⅓ cup applesauce
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- Cooking spray
- 1 cup chopped apple
Step 1: Preheat Oven
Preheat oven to 250°F. In a large bowl, combine oats, cereal, bran, walnuts, cinnamon, and cardamom, mix together.
Step 2: Make Sauce
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp butter. Add applesauce, brown sugar, and honey, and bring to a boil.
Cook the sauce for 1 minute, stirring constantly so the bottom doesn’t burn. Pour over oat mixture, and stir to coat the oats completely.
Step 3: Bake Granola
Spray and grease a baking sheet, and spread the oat mixture out on the sheet. Bake for 1 ½ hours, shaking the mixture every half hour.
Cool the baked granola completely before serving with apple. Another option is to store in an airtight container.
7. Choco-Ginger Ice Cream Sandwiches
Store-bought ice cream sandwiches may be full of saturated fats or trans fats that won’t make your heart happy in the long run. This DIY option is just as tasty, and hides no extra ingredients from you.
- 2 cups softened vanilla ice cream or yogurt
- 1 oz coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate
- 1 oz chopped crystallized ginger
- 12 chocolate cookies or chocolate graham crackers
Step 1: Make Filling
Combine softened vanilla ice cream/yogurt with chocolate and ginger in a bowl.
Step 2: Stack
Arrange 6 cookies on a baking sheet, and top with scoops of the filling. Top with the remaining cookies to form sandwiches.
Step 3: Refrigerate and Serve
Cover the sandwiches with plastic wrap and slide the tray into the freezer for two hours before serving.
Caring for your heart does entail some sacrifices, but a good meal isn’t one of them! By sticking to the right ingredients and choosing healthier options for old favorites, you never have to feel deprived as you eat your way to a healthier heart.
Try these recipes for low-cholesterol meals to keep your heart happy and healthy.
Keeping your heart healthy is one thing, and keeping the rest of your body healthy is another. Taking a daily supplement may help keep you feeling energetic and healthy at any age.