by Sumptuous Spoonfuls
Welcome to Part 2 of my series of Cholesterol Lowering Recipes! In Part 1, we talked about hot peppers, eggs, nuts, fatty fishes like salmon or tuna, onion & garlic, beans, grass fed butter, grass fed cheese and avocados. I shared 30 delicious recipes (along with tips for making them extra heart healthy) and things you should avoid if you want to lower your cholesterol. I have soooo much more cholesterol lowering deliciousness for you! There’s no reason to get stuck in a food rut or think that your choices are limited–cholesterol lowering foods are many and so varied. Let’s get started … so if, like me, you’ve been wondering:
What else should I eat to lower my cholesterol?
Cruciferous Veggies like Broccoli, Cauliflower, Kale, Cabbage, Collard Greens or Brussels Sprouts (cruciferous vegetables). Veggies in general are amazing for reducing cholesterol, but cruciferous vegetables are high in fiber and plant sterols, which are awesome for heart health. Cruciferous veggies are also great at binding to bile acids. The liver produces bile, which is stored by the gallbladder. When we eat, this bile is released by the gallbladder to emulsify, digest, and absorb fats. Cruciferous vegetables bind to those bile acids, causing them to be excreted by the body instead of being reabsorbed. The body must then use cholesterol stores to replace the lost bile acids, resulting in a decrease in cholesterol levels. So eat more broccoli! (and/or cauliflower, kale, cabbage, collard greens and brussels sprouts)
- Cheesy Baked Broccoli Mushroom Fritters. Use a lower fat cheese or cheese from grass fed cows (like Kerrygold), whole grain bread crumbs and grass fed butter to up the heart health factor. You can even stir in a little psyllium husk for extra fiber.
- Broccoli Mushroom Chicken Fried Rice. Use brown rice in this recipe to keep it heart healthy … and if you’re watching your sodium intake, make sure to use low sodium soy sauce.
- Ham & Cheddar Broccoli Tots. Use grass-fed cheese such as Kerrygold Aged Cheddar or Skellig to keep this heart healthy.
- Cherry Almond Broccoli Salad. This tasty salad is a total crowd pleaser, and it’s chock full of ingredients that lower cholesterol too!
- Sheet Pan Shrimp and Roasted Vegetables. A quick, easy and totally cholesterol busting dinner idea from my friend Michele at Bacon Fatte.
- Roasted Broccoli with Onions and Bacon. Limit the bacon to keep it extra heart healthy.
- Creole Shrimp & Cheesy Cauliflower Grits. Use grass fed butter and cheeses in this recipe to get more Vitamin K2 in your diet along with the capsaicin and the cruciferous cauliflower advantage. (BTW, if you’re worried about eating shrimp on a low cholesterol diet, don’t be. Shrimp was once thought to be bad since it contains cholesterol, but since then shrimp has actually been shown to raise your HDL (good) cholesterol.)
- Garlic Rosemary Roasted Cauliflower. A simple preparation that’s totally addictive and fabulous for protecting your heart health.
- Buffalo Cauliflower Dip. A heart healthy take on buffalo chicken dip! Take care to watch for hydrogenated vegetable oil if you’re using store-bought ranch dressing in this recipe–even a tiny bit of hydrogenated vegetable oil can be horrible for your cholesterol levels.
- Cauliflower Hummus. Both beans and cruciferous cauliflower pair up to make this hummus extra heart healthy.
- Kung Pao Cauliflower. Serve over brown rice to add more fiber to this healthy version of a Chinese favorite.
- Cheesy Seafood Kale Stuffed Eggplant. Substitute salmon or tuna for some of the other seafood to up the omega-3’s. Also, make sure to use a grass-fed cheese like Kerrygold Dubliner.
- Tropical Kiwi Monster Protein Kale Smoothie. You’re going to love the taste of this super-healthy green smoothie.
- Honey Bourbon Roasted Beets with Crispy Kale. She had me at honey bourbon …
- Lemon Basil & Kale Hummus – I love the addition of kale and basil in this pretty green hummus!
- Cabbage Roll Soup from ChinDeep. The onion, tomatoes, cabbage, carrot and ginger in this soup are awesome for lowering cholesterol. Use grass fed ground beef and pork to limit the saturated fat.
- Cabbage Roll Soup. Another winning version of this cholesterol lowering soup from An Affair from the Heart. Again, use grass fed ground beef for extra omega 3s.
- Unstuffed Cabbage Roll Skillet. This easy skillet uses brown rice for extra fiber! Use extra lean or grass fed ground beef to lower the saturated fat.
- Irish Cabbage & Potato Soup with Ham. Use low-fat ham and grass fed cheese (like Dubliner or Skellig from Kerrygold) to make this soup extra heart healthy.
- Tropical Pineapple Mango Coleslaw. This is a slaw like no slaw you’ve ever had before. It’s tropical, fruity, crunchy, with hints of pectin-rich orange, pineapple, mango, mint and cilantro and crunchy, salty roasted macadamias on top.
- Warm Roasted Cabbage Salad. Use grass fed cheese like Kerrygold aged cheddar or sweet cheddar (Skellig) to add some cholesterol fighting vitamin K2 to this winter salad.
- Deconstructed Egg Rolls. All the flavor of an egg roll without all the work (or the fat from frying the egg rolls)! Use low fat or grass fed ground beef or turkey and serve over brown rice or quinoa for extra cholesterol lowering fiber.
- Sriracha Brussels Sprouts Poppers. These poppers are so fun and totally addictive!
- Turkey Quinoa Brussels Sprouts Casserole. Use a grass fed cheese from Kerrygold to up the cholesterol lowering benefits of this tasty comforting dish.
- Roasted Shredded Brussels Sprouts with maple balsamic drizzle. Limit the amount of bacon to lower the saturated fat in this yummy dish.
- Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts. If you don’t have an air fryer, you can roast these in the oven at 400 F for 5-8 minutes on one side, flip and roast for another 5-8 minutes on the other side.
Being a northerner, I don’t have any collard green recipes, so my friends Mary and Alice helped me out and shared some of theirs! Collard greens are said to be one of the most nutritious of the cruciferous veggies and people just love them.
- Bradford Collard Salad with Peanut Vinaigrette. Not only are collard greens amazing for lowering cholesterol, but so are peanut so I really love the peanut vinaigrette on this lovely salad.
- Southern Potlikker Soup
- Stir Fried Organic Collard Greens. Cut down the bacon to limit the saturated fat content, but enjoy the greens!
- Fall Harvest Butternut Squash & Collards Soup. This sweet and savory soup has so many cholesterol fighting ingredients: collard greens, butternut squash, cannellini beans, onions and spicy red chile flakes. Substitute olive or avocado oil or grass fed butter for the bacon grease to lower the saturated fats.
Strawberries and Blueberries
According to research published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, eating strawberries can significantly reduce total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. Both strawberries and blueberries are rich in anthocyanins that lower blood pressure, and they make blood vessels more elastic.
- Strawberry Pistachio Truffle Berries boost heart health with dark chocolate, nuts AND cholesterol-fighting strawberries
- Honey Almond Blueberry Oatmeal pairs whole grain oats with blueberries and almonds for a triple heart health advantage.
- Kale & Strawberry Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette from Cooking with Mary & Friends. Double the cholesterol fighting power with kale AND strawberries!
- Simple Fresh Fruit Salad from Southern with a Twist. Loads of fresh fruit makes a salad everyone will love.
- Purple Kale Salad with Blueberry Vinaigrette from This is How I Cook. I love the purple!
- Watermelon Blueberry Mint Salad from Moore or Less Cooking. Such pretty red white and blue colors and flavors, especially perfect for patriotic holidays.
- Strawberry Almond Salad with Wild Violets. There are fresh strawberries in both the salad and the dressing in this gorgeous spring salad, plus cholesterol-lowering almonds.
Apples and Pears contain polyphenols, fiber, and phytosterols, all of which can help lower your cholesterol levels. They are also full of pectin, which is amazing for digestion and lowering cholesterol. As a soluble fiber, pectin works by binding to fatty substances in the digestive tract, including cholesterol and toxins, and promotes their elimination. This means that pectin benefits the body’s detoxifying capabilities, helps regulate the body’s use of sugars and cholesterol, and improves gut and digestive health.
- Bourbon Apples – leave the peel on for extra fiber and use grass fed butter like Kerrygold in this recipe to keep it heart healthy.
- Apple Pie Smoothie – a super healthy smoothie that seriously tastes like apple pie!
- Cranberry Apple Pear Oat Crumble – use grass fed butter in the topping to keep it heart healthy.
- Prosciutto Pear Bites with herbs & blue cheese – one of my most-pinned recipes, this is such an easy and elegant appetizer
- Pear, Blue Cheese and Candied Walnut Salad with Honey Lavender White Wine Vinaigrette
- Crunchy Top Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal from Fountain Avenue Kitchen – an award-winning cholesterol-busting recipe from one of my favorite bloggers, Ann from Fountain Avenue Kitchen
Citrus fruits are naturally high in pectin. I’ve already talked about the powerful cholesterol-fighting benefits of pectin, but the soluble fiber and flavonoids in citrus fruits may also improve cholesterol levels by raising “good” HDL cholesterol and lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
- Asian Orange Chicken Brussels Sprouts Salad is a favorite salad that includes many heart health benefits from oranges, brussels sprouts and almonds plus a heart-healthy citrus dressing.
- Winter Kale & Wild Rice Salad with Oranges from Moore or Less Cooking – This salad is full of cholesterol lowering ingredients like oranges, apples, kale and olive oil. So many lovely flavors and colors!
- Cinnamon Spice Kumquat Nut Bread. Whole grains and kumquats provide lots of fiber and flavor in this tasty quickbread.
- Light Lavender Mint Lemonade. Full of fresh squeezed lemon juice, this drink is light, refreshing and awesome for lowering cholesterol!
Dark Chocolate or Cocoa
The cocoa bean is rich in a class of plant nutrients called flavonoids. In addition to having antioxidant qualities, research shows that flavanols have other potential influences on vascular health, such as lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow to the brain and heart, and making blood platelets less sticky and able to clot. Cocoa powder has been shown to lower LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) in your bloodstream. For cholesterol-lowering benefits, make sure you choose dark chocolate that is 70% or higher in cocoa, or stick to using cocoa powder.
- Cherry Chocolate Nutty Smoothie from Ally’s Kitchen – Nuts, dark cherries, cocoa, cinnamon, flax and dates make a smoothie bursting with chocolate flavor with epic heart protection.
- 2-Minute Decadent Dark Chocolate Oatmeal – chocolate for breakfast is amazing! This oatmeal uses cholesterol-lowering cocoa powder to chocolatize it.
- Chocolate Fruit & Nut Energy Bytes – fruit and nuts paired with dark chocolate for a little energy boosting treat that’s good for your cholesterol.
- Blueberry Chocolate Smoothie from Moore or Less Cooking – cholesterol busting blueberries AND chocolate, this heart-friendly smoothie is a great way to start your day.
- Dark Chocolate Berry Banana Bread – full of berries, whole grains and dark cocoa, this bread is both delicious and good for your heart. Use a good dark cocoa and add some dark chocolate chips for an extra dose of dark chocolate goodness.
Mushrooms are high in fiber and protein and low in refined carbohydrates and saturated fat, plus mushrooms contain:
- Beta-glucan, a form of soluble fiber, are found in various concentrations in mushrooms. It is thought that beta-glucan may interfere with the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream.
- Eritadenine is thought to lower lipid levels by modifying the way certain lipids are made in the liver.
- Mevinolin, another ingredient found in some mushrooms, functions by inhibiting HMG CoA reductase, a key enzyme used to make cholesterol in the body.
- Gorgonzole Guacamole Stuffed Mushrooms – limit the gorgonzola but pile on the guac to make these delectable little bites extra heart healthy.
- Spinach Lasagna Stuffed Mushrooms – use low fat ricotta cheese and mozzarella to keep the saturated fat content down.
- Mushroom Asparagus Hash – use olive oil or grass fed butter in this recipe if you want to lower your cholesterol. It’s quite all right to use a whole egg … whole eggs actually help lower your cholesterol
- Crockpot Caramelized Mushrooms – if you’re watching your sodium intake, use low-sodium soy sauce in this recipe. The addition of olive oil and garlic makes them extra heart healthy.
- Creamy Four Mushroom Bisque – a surprisingly healthy, super creamy mushroom soup