When the doctor gives you a list of foods you cannot eat without raising your blood cholesterol, it can be extremely daunting. It may seem like there are more foods you cannot eat than foods you can! However, once you get over the initial shock, using heart healthy meal plans is not such a big deal as long as you know what to eat. Read on to find out about some low cholesterol staples that can be just as filling and delicious as normal while also promoting a healthy heart and a long life.
It may sound obvious, but fruits and vegetables are the best source of filling nutrition that will not add cholesterol to your diet. Plants do not need to be all you eat, but they are a great way to round out a meal that otherwise would not be filling enough. Instead of a big plate of lasagna, a small piece with a large salad of romaine, cherry tomatoes, green olives, and bell peppers is much healthier and just as appetizing.
Instead of a three egg omelet, try an egg and half an avocado on whole grain toast with a side of mushrooms and tomatoes. Instead of a whole turkey sandwich for lunch, half of one with a nice fruit salad with grapes and cantaloupe. The key is not to replace your favorite foods, but to cut down on the amount of them you eat, and make up the difference with fruits and vegetables.
For main courses, poultry is a better choice than beef or pork. Nice lean poultry cuts grilled without added fat are ideal. For tender and delicious chicken, try brining your meat in salt water for 2-6 hours before cooking. Then, give it a nice spice rub with chili powder, black pepper, rosemary, oregano, and whatever other spices you like, and put it in the grill on medium heat for a few minutes a side, until it reaches 165 degrees internal temperature. You won’t miss steak at all when that chicken hits your mouth!
Fish is another great option. Not only is it high in good fats and low in bad fats, but it is an amazing source of Omega 3 vitamins. Try a nice thick cut of salmon brushed with lemon juice and a small amount of butter, then wrapped in foil and baked. It is ready when it is colored all the way through and falls apart with a fork. Heaven. Try saving some leftovers and throwing them into a nice vegetable salad for lunch the next day!
As you can see, there are plenty of delicious heart healthy meal plans that do not contain a lot of cholesterol. It may take some adjusting for this to become your normal diet, but you do not need to starve with dinners of carrot sticks and cottage cheese (though that is not a bad snack!). Make yourself a nice hearty meal, but make sure that it contains plenty of vegetables and not too much fat, and your heart will thank you!