I was quite surprised when I initially found out I had high cholesterol because I felt I had a pretty healthy diet at the time. I mostly ate foods that were low in saturated fat and generally got more than my five-a-day of fruit and veg, so I couldn’t understand why my cholesterol was so high. After a lot of research I realised that my diet didn’t contain enough foods that actively lower cholesterol, like beans, nuts and seeds.
So, in addition to eating mostly low fat foods, I now also try to include at least two cholesterol-lowering foods in every meal. I also include try to include foods that raise good cholesterol, like olive oil, rapeseed oil and avocados. By doing this I’ve managed to lower my cholesterol significantly and keep it low.
Here are some easy ways to incorporate cholesterol-lowering foods into everyday meals:-
- Eat an oat-based breakfast, such as porridge, muesli or oat bars (see this post for ideas)
- Add a tablespoon of ground flaxseeds to your porridge or cereal.
- Use high fibre bread for your toast (see this post for options).
- Choose high fibre, low sugar breakfast cereals (see this post for suggestions).
- Add a tablespoon of almonds or walnuts to your breakfast cereal.
- Make a cholesterol-lowering smoothie (see recipe here).
- Add grated apple to your porridge (see recipe here).
- Eat 100% almond/peanut butter or smashed avocado on high fibre toast.
- Add chia seeds to overnight oats (see this recipe).
- Make your sandwiches with high fibre bread (see this post for options).
- Add houmous or avocado to your salads or sandwiches.
- Eat baked beans (low sugar & salt) on high fibre toast.
- Add tinned beans to your salads or soups (see this post for options).
- Use basil-infused olive oil as a salad dressing.
- Add roasted nuts or seeds to your salads.
- Eat an apple with your meal.
- Replace a third of the meat in meals like curries and stews with tinned beans (see this post for options).
- Replace half of your rice or pasta with chickpeas.
- Use wholewheat, chickpea or lentil pasta.
- Eat brown rice or barley as a side dish.
- Cook with rapeseed oil, and use olive oil as a dressing.
- Sprinkle asian dishes with sesame seeds.
- Add flaked almonds to curries and fish dishes.
- Use houmous or smashed avocado as a dip.