You’ve probably already heard that high levels of LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) puts you at risk for all sorts of health problems like heart disease and stroke. What you might not know is that high cholesterol is now linked to other diseases like dementia and that even children are now at risk for developing both high cholesterol and its related health problems.
If you already know that you have, or are at risk for developing, high cholesterol, you’re best bet is to see a physician who can properly care for you. One of the first things they’ll probably say is "change your diet." Diets low in saturated fat and high in fiber are generally believed to help control high cholesterol.
But before you mentally throw out any hope of ever enjoying food again, consider these easy, dietary substitutions.
Croutons bad, Nuts good. Nothing sets off a bland salad like salty croutons, right? Umm, wrong! Croutons defeat the purpose of healthy eating. What with the nearly 200mg of sodium (Eight percent of your daily recommended intake) and two percent saturated fat in just one ounce. Instead, sprinkle a handful of delicious walnuts over your salad if you need something crunchy.
Just say no to rice (and yes to quinoa). Pronounced KEEN-wa, it’s the tasty seeds of the plant that can be cooked similar to rice. It’s also the most complete grain around, with 60 percent more protein and 15 percent lesscarbs than brown rice. One cup also has about 15 percent more fiber, making it an amazingly great food for controlling high cholesterol.
Quinoa Pilaf (from Savvy Vegetarian) is a great way to ease into the change.
Salad dressing is the devil. Well, not really. But when you consider the 290mg of sodium (that’s 12 percent of your daily salt intake) in just two tablespoons of Kraft French Style Fat Free dressing, it kind of is for anyone eating heart-healthy. A drizzle of balsamic vinegar or lemon juice are the best options for a healthier salad.
Swap the beef for turkey. Even if you’re using 99 percent-lean ground beef it’s still packed with saturated fat. Ground turkey is just as versatile (it can make all of your favorites like burgers) with half the saturated fat. Try it tonight using this recipe for Turkey meatloaf (from Health.com).
– Whitney Teal
Fast-food fit club