The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 71 million Americans have high cholesterol, which means there’s never been a better time to explore what it means to eat a cholesterol-free diet! Whether the urge to change habits is self-motivated or coming from your doc, you’ll not only boost your intake of key vitamins and nutrients, but will also discover that cholesterol-free foods are a clean source of fuel to power your day. Here’s the lowdown on cooking, eating, and enjoying a cholesterol-free lifestyle!
When you hear the word “cholesterol,” you probably think about pizza and fried food, but cholesterol isn’t only found in foods that are high in saturated fat. In addition to dietary cholesterol found in animal-derived foods like meat and dairy, cholesterol is naturally produced in your liver to digest fatty foods and make hormones. And since your body produces all the cholesterol it needs, overindulging in foods high in “bad cholesterol” puts you at risk of disrupting your body’s healthy cholesterol levels.
Believe it or not, not all cholesterol is “bad.” Cholesterol is actually broken into two categories: LDL (low-density lipoprotein) or “bad cholesterol” and HDL (high-density lipoprotein), or “good” cholesterol.
Sure, you know that fried chicken and cheeseburgers are off the menu when you’re eating a cholesterol-free diet, but what about low-cholesterol foods? The good news is there are delicious options to incorporate into your daily meal plan, and many foods offer the added bonus of actually helping lower cholesterol levels, too!
Long gone are the days of bland, boring, cholesterol-free recipes. Rich, flavorful, and deliciously filling, you won’t feel the least bit deprived with these cholesterol-friendly dishes.
Give your greens a Japanese-inspired flavor upgrade with coconut aminos, nori, and sesame. Your oven will soon become your new best friend on a cholesterol-free diet, and this sensational side recipe is no exception.
Refreshing meets satiating in this crisp and crave-worthy salad. Lemon juice and fennel add a zesty crunch while tender sardines add richness.
Instant oatmeal without the artificial ingredients? Count us in! This smart and easy recipe calls for gluten-free rolled oats and a few ingredients of your choosing, including dried fruit, a superfood like chia seeds or goji berries, and your go-to protein powder.
Get more out of pesto by adding kale and hemp seeds to the mix instead of basil. The nutrient-rich combo makes for a superpowered, totally delicious dish.
We just love recipes that let sweet and savory flavors mingle, and this salad does it beautifully (seriously, it’s really pretty). Tri-colored quinoa adds a dose of healthy protein while cilantro, dried cranberries, almonds and zucchini create lovely layers of texture.
Quinoa swaps in for bulgur wheat and combines with a handful of colorful herbs like parsley and mint along with cherry tomatoes for a fresh, bright bite.
Go grain-free with comforting cauliflower rice combined with sautéed spinach and mushrooms and topped with a delicate salmon filet. Not only is this dish oh-so-easy, but it’s downright elegant.
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