Lower Your Cholesterol Through Cooking
Keeping those cholesterol numbers and ratios in check is certainly a key factor of our continued health and well-being. Lifestyle choices like smoking and how much we exercise can significantly impact those levels. And, of course, a critical piece of the puzzle is our diet. Does that mean boring is about to become a four-letter word spelled F-O-O-D? Absolutely not! Life at this stage is about satisfaction and joy, and that includes what’s cooking in the kitchen. With a little information, attention and creativity, the nutritional portion of your fabulous 55+ adventure will not be reduced to a daily dose of tofu and oat bran.
Try these simple healthy cooking tips and enjoy!
Salad Dressing is Not Your Friend
Creating a wonderful healthy salad for lunch is a great idea. Drowning it in high-fat salad dressing? Not so much. Think of it as shooting your pursuit of lower cholesterol in the foot. Low-fat alternatives would be a better choice, but the best low cholesterol option is drizzling that salad with balsamic vinegar or lemon juice.
Instead of Croutons, Go Nuts!
Carbohydrates are known to increase LDL (Bad cholesterol) levels. Replace those carbo-laden salad croutons with chopped walnuts, high in the polyunsaturated fat that can actually lower LDL while boosting the preferred HDL (Good cholesterol). Enjoy the healthy crunch.
Ground Turkey, Instead of Ground Beef
Ground turkey contains half the saturated fat of 85% lean ground beef. Many of your favorite beef-centric recipes will taste equally as delicious—and be much healthier—if you substitute that beef with lean ground turkey.
Fish Before Fowl
While it’s true turkey and chicken have less saturated fat than red meat, neither are complete without cholesterol. When trying to reduce the cholesterol in your cooking, choose recipes that feature fish, which contains heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Your favorite finishes can be as delightful on a piece of salmon as they are on a piece of chicken.
Keen on Quinoa
Quinoa, a high fiber South American seed, is the perfect substitute for rice or couscous. One cup of cooked quinoa has 15% fewer carbohydrates and 60% more protein than a comparable amount of brown rice. Add it to your next dinner party menu and your guests will definitely be keen on Quinoa! (Pronounced KEEN-wa.)
Sour on Sour Cream
A little sour cream in a garnish or sauce goes a long way toward infusing an otherwise heart-healthy meal with unwanted saturated fat. To trim that excess fat without sacrificing taste or texture, swap out the sour cream for no-fat Greek yogurt, one of the healthiest foods on the shelf. Just about any of your favorite recipes that call for sour cream can be enhanced with Greek yogurt instead.
Butter is Out
Pan fry fish or poultry and sauté vegetables with liquid oils such as canola, safflower, sunflower, soybean and olive instead of solid fats such as butter, lard or shortening. If you must use margarine, try the soft or liquid kind.
A Toast to Lowering Your Cholesterol!
While dinner is simmering, raise a glass of wine instead of a cocktail. Red wine has about a tenth of the carbohydrates of a margarita and you’ll also get antioxidants like bioflavonoids that are believed to lower LDL and boost HDL.
Follow these simple, healthy cooking tips and your kitchen will cook with the same sizzle you enjoy during the rest of your active adult life.