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Planning a diet with recipes low in cholesterol is the best way to reduce the levels of bad cholesterols in your body. Going on a low-cholesterol diet doesn’t mean you need to become a vegetarian. Your low-cholesterol diet menu can include seasoned salmon, grilled vegetables, succulent chicken, fresh fruits and more. In this section, we’ll review the various types of low-cholesterol foods you can enjoy for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
1. Low-cholesterol breakfast
Oatmeal: A big bowl of oatmeal is one of the best ways to start your day if you’re worried about your cholesterol. A daily diet in oatmeal has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels by up to 18 percent. Oatmeal is rich in soluble fiber which can minimize the amount of cholesterol being absorbed into your body. It’s cheap, instant and comes in numerous different flavors.
Fruit: Pomegranates, oranges, lemons and various other fruits contain fiber and vitamins that are great for reducing cholesterol and boosting your cardiovascular system. The juices from some fruits can also help strengthen your arteries.
Low-fat cereal: These cereals are low in fat and cholesterol but high in fiber. They’ll give you enough energy to make it through until lunch. They’re also cheap and easy to prepare.
Fake eggs: Enjoy scrambled eggs without the fat or cholesterol from the egg yolk. You can buy small cartons of cholesterol-free eggs (they look like small cartons of milk) that are ready to pour into the pan. Prepare this with a slice of whole-grain toast for a low-cholesterol breakfast with the carbs and protein to get you through the day. You can also use these eggs for omelets, or as ingredients for other dishes.
2. Low-cholesterol lunch
Whole grain bread: Want to make a sandwich? A slice of whole-grain bread is low in cholesterol and packed with energy. You can also buy whole-grain tortillas for burritos and lunch wraps.
Turkey or chicken breast meat: Poultry without skin makes for a great low-cholesterol meal. Go to your local deli and get fresh sliced turkey or chicken. Combine it with whole-grain bread, low-fat cheese, your favorite vegetables and a spread of low-fat mayonnaise or light ranch.
Chili: Beans are rich in fiber and protein, making them a great meal choice for someone who is on a low-cholesterol diet. No-meat chili mixed with onion, garlic and various spices makes for a tasty treat on your mid-week menu.
Soup: A cup of healthy, low-cholesterol soup is another good meal option. Soup is cheap to buy at the grocery store and easy to cook at home. It can be carried around and reheated at work. Best of all, people who eat soup feel full faster, making it a great food for anyone trying to lose weight.
3. Low-cholesterol dinner
Fish: Trout, salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel and other types of fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids that will reduce the levels of bad cholesterol in your body. Eating fish will also reduce your risk of heart disease. Try to eat at least two servings of fish each week, and remember not to fry your seafood. Fried fish does not count.
Noodle dishes: Noodles have very little cholesterol and can be prepared in various fashions. Stay away from cream sauces such as alfredo sauce. Instead, try garnishing your noodles with tomato sauce, pesto or seasonings. You can also mix in your favorite grilled vegetables or pieces of grilled seafood or chicken breast.
Chicken fajitas: Combine seasoned, grilled chicken strips with whole-wheat tortillas, low-fat sour cream, black or pinto beans, low-fat cheese and fresh vegetables rich in soluble fiber. There’s nothing better for spicing up your low-cholesterol menu.
Skinned poultry (baked or broiled): Chicken or turkey without the skin makes for a great, traditional meal within your low-cholesterol diet. Remember to choose side dishes that also comply with your diet plan.
4. What to avoid in your low-cholesterol menu
We’ve reviewed the kinds of food to include in your low-cholesterol diet, but equally important are the types of food you should avoid. Research has shown that foods high in saturated fats and trans fats will increase your body is production of bad cholesterol. Foods high in saturated fats include fast food, processed food, red meat, poultry with its skin on and junk food. Foods high in trans fat often include chips, cookies and other crispy foods sold in packaging, as well as numerous types of baked goods. Fresh foods are less likely to be high in trans fat.
Also, many of these foods contain large amounts of cholesterol. While some of these foods are OK in moderation (because who wants to cut out cheeseburgers entirely), generally stay away from these foods if your goal is to reduce your cholesterol.