In a previous blog post, we talked about an Essential Diabetic Diet for a Healthier Lifestyle. We discussed the importance of portion control and tips on how to have a healthy lifestyle. I also shared with you how I was diagnosed with high cholesterol and needed to watch my diet. Now, I’d like to share with you some tips and a recipe on how to get started with your low cholesterol diet plan.
Getting Started with the Low Cholesterol Diet Plan
When talking about cholesterol, you may have heard of LDL and HDL. In layman’s terms, LDL is “bad cholesterol” and HDL is the “good cholesterol.” We also need to watch out for our triglycerides, because high triglycerides along with high LDL levels will increase our risk for heart disease.
I know you don’t want to hear about what foods to avoid ‘cos it gets depressing. So, I’d like to share with you foods that actually help lower your bad cholesterol.
- Legumes – include beans, lentils, and peas. They are rich in fiber, proteins and minerals and can replace the grains and processed meat in your diet.
- Avocados – are rich in monounsaturated fats and fiber which are effective in lowering LDL. Make sure to limit your avocado intake to 1 a day.
- Nuts – are nutritionally-dense foods that are high in monounsaturated fats. Almonds and walnuts are your best bet. Walnuts are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids while almonds are rich in L-arginine that help reduce blood pressure. Nuts are also rich in phytosterols, calcium, potassium, and magnesium which help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Fatty fish -such as salmon and mackerel are rich in Omega-3s and help increase HDL or good cholesterol. The best ways to cook fish are steamed, broiled, or baked.
- Whole Grains – specifically oats and barley contain more vitamins, minerals and fiber than refined grains. They contain beta-glucan, a soluble fiber that helps lower bad cholesterol.
- Fruits and berries – such as apples, grapes, citrus fruits and strawberries contain bioactive compounds that have antioxidants and anti-inflammatory effects.
- Dark Chocolate and Cocoa – cocoa is used to make chocolate and contains flavonoids, which help reduce LDL and raise HDL. Be careful when eating chocolate though because the added sugar can also be bad for you.
- Garlic – contains allicin which is a powerful plant compound that greatly reduces blood pressure and bad cholesterol.
- Soy foods – such as soya and tofu are legumes that also promote heart health.
- Vegetables – especially dark leafy greens, are rich in anti-oxidants and fiber and low in calories.
- Tea- contains catechins which help activate nitric oxide which is essential in preventing blood clots.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and polyphenols.
A Low Cholesterol Diet Recipe Just for You
Now that you know about which foods will help you lower your bad cholesterol, here’s an easy recipe to help you get started. This Tofu with Brown Rice and Veggies make use of the healthy ingredients mentioned above.
In this recipe, we used brown rice, which is among the whole grain foods, and is healthier than white rice. Tofu is an example of soy food, which is also among the healthy foods. As a tip, if you want more flavor, you can season the sweet potatoes and tofu with cayenne or paprika if you want it with a bit of spice. You can also use oyster sauce to season the dish instead of salt.
What makes this recipe even better is that you can just wait for it to cook in the oven with your baking pan and parchment paper set. Definitely makes cooking easier and healthier!
Don’t forget to share this recipe to help your friends get started on a low cholesterol diet plan, too!
What other recipes would you like us to post? Leave us a comment or send us a message!
Low Cholesterol Recipe: Tofu and Brown Rice with Veggies
- 500 grams orange sweet potatoes peeled and cut into cubes
- olive oil cooking spray
- 1 1/3 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 can corn kernels
- 300 grams broccoli florets
- 200 grams Chinese soy tofu cut into cubes
- 1/3 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves chopped
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Get your baking pan and line it with parchment paper. Arrange the sweet potato cubes and tofu then spray with oil. Toss lightly to coat well.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until tender and the tofu becomes crispy.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, place the broccoli florets and corn along with 2 tablespoons of cold water to keep it hydrated. Cover with a plastic wrap or with parchment paper and microwave on high for 4 to 5 minutes or until the broccoli is tender and bright green.
- Rinse the broccoli under cold water and drain well.
- In a bowl, spoon some brown rice and top it with the sweet potatoes, tofu, broccoli, and corn. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with parsley.