Cooking and Cholesterol

If you want to lower your cholesterol, you will want to cook your own meals more often. This is because many restaurants add lots of fat and salt to their foods in order to cheaply add texture and taste.

Convenience foods, of course, are notorious for offering poor nutrition and plenty of fat, salt, and sugar.

If you want to lower your cholesterol over the next 30 days, avoid all fast-food, convenience, and prepackaged meals.

This isn’t hard to do, even if you are lost in the kitchen. There are a number of very fast and easy ways to ensure that you can whip up tasty and cholesterol-friendly meals – no matter how harried your schedule:

• If you are very busy and tired at the end of a long day, a salad and sandwich take less time to put together than it takes to phone the pizza parlor. Wrap some veggies in a tortilla, cut more veggies into a salad, and drizzle the salad with olive oil and lemon juice. Use a mashed avocado or salt-free salsa as the “dressing” on your sandwich. Soups and stir-fries are other kitchen friends of busy people who aren’t very handy in the kitchen.

• Keep fresh ingredients on hand and don’t tempt yourself by keeping convenience foods and junk food in your house.

• Choose fresh ingredients – the very freshest you can. Not only is this healthier for you, but you will need less fat and salt in your cooking if your food ingredients are flavorful on their own.

• Find low-fat and cholesterol-friendly recipes in cookbooks and plan to make these recipes. There are many recipe books at your local library – and many of these feature heart-healthy and fast recipes that can make cholesterol-friendly eating a snap. Don’t overlook cookbooks that feature Chinese, Japanese, Raw food, Vegan, and Indian recipes. These are often heart-friendly and contain enough variety to keep you happy with your low-fat diet forever.

• Buy some fresh herbs. Use these to add flavor to your cooking rather than relying on salt. If you must use salt, use only a pinch of the best sea salt you are able to buy.

• If you have recipes you cannot part with, switch ingredients to healthier alternatives. Use good olive oil instead of butter, low-fat products instead of the regular kind and experiment with cutting salt out of recipes entirely.

Cooking to lower your cholesterol is not very hard. There are a few basic foods that almost anyone can make that can keep your health in good shape.

Top Photo by Katherine Lim

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