Beans are one of the best (and cheapest!) things to eat if you have high cholesterol, because they’re rich in cholesterol-lowering soluble fibre. They’re also a good source of protein and contain nutrients like iron and magnesium, so eating them every day can be hugely beneficial for your health.
Here are some easy ways to add more beans to your daily diet:-
1. Eat houmous with your lunch
There are lots of ways to incorporate houmous into your lunch, like using it in sandwiches/wraps instead of mayonnaise, adding a few dollops to your salad or simply eating it with pitta bread or carrot sticks.
If you make your own houmous you can add other cholesterol-reducing ingredients like garlic, olive oil and ground flaxseeds. Here’s a really simple recipe to try.
2. Eat baked beans on toast
This is the most simple meal to prepare and so nutritious. Wholemeal (wholegrain) bread, is high in dietary fibre, which can also help to lower cholesterol. Soya and linseed bread is another good alternative because soya and linseed can both help to lower cholesterol.
3. Snack on roasted chickpeas
My favourite shop-bought ones are the ‘garbanzo’ snack packs they sell at ‘Holland & Barrett’. They’re only 88 calories a pack and you get loads in each portion, so they last for ages. They’re not cheap though – you can make your own for a fraction of the price (here’s a simple recipe for spicy oven-roasted chickpeas).
4. Eat chilli con carne
Chilli con carne, made with extra lean mince, is a great cholesterol-reducing healthy meal. This simple slow cooker recipe contains both kidney beans and cannellini beans, and it tastes delicious.
5. Snack on houmous with oatcakes
This is the perfect snack because it contains chickpeas and oats, two of the best foods for actively lowering cholesterol. I love the ‘Rude Health” varieties, as they’re a bit more substantial than the normal ones, and more tasty in my opinion.
6. Add beans to salads
Adding beans to salads will not only help to lower your cholesterol, but will also increase the protein content of your meal and keep you feeling fuller for longer. They’re so cheap as well, and if you buy the tinned ones they require absolutely no preparation – just drain them and chuck them on your salad.
7. Snack on Edamame beans
You can get little snack pots of Edamame beans from places like Boots, Tesco and Pret a Manger. They contain protein and fibre, so make the perfect cholesterol-reducing snack.
8. Add chickpeas to curries
You can add cholesterol-reducing chickpeas to all sort of curries, as you’ll barely taste them when they’re immersed in the sauce. They work really well in a Tikka Masala Chicken curry – I add ground flaxseeds as well to increase the cholesterol-reducing benefits even more (see my recipe here).
For more cholesterol-friendly recipes and tips on how to reduce cholesterol naturally, click here.