Four Low Cholesterol Dinners

When you have high cholesterol, you are twice at risk of suffering from heart attack and stroke. According to studies, one in three Americans has high cholesterol levels as a result of unhealthy lifestyle choices. While there are several ways of lowering your cholesterol levels, the most effective way is still the changes you make regarding your food intake. Following a low cholesterol diet can reduce cholesterol levels by as much as 10 to 15 percent. It may be challenging at first, especially if you are unsure of what food you are supposed to eat. That is why we list down four of our favorite low cholesterol dinners to help you get started.

Grilled Honey Soy Salmon Fillet

The star of this easy and quick recipe, salmon, is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids or the good kind of fats that help reduce cholesterol levels.

You will need:

  • 4 salmon fillets
  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lime

Preheat grill for medium heat and lightly oil the grate.

Place salmon fillets in a shallow dish. Combine soy sauce, garlic, red pepper flakes in a separate bowl. Whisk together and make sure they mixed thoroughly. Coat the salmon fillets with the soy sauce marinade and leave for 10 to 20 minutes or longer.

Whisk honey and lime together. Set aside.

Place salmon fillets preheated grill. Brush marinade on top of the salmon fillet then cover the grill and cook for five minutes. Brush both sides with the honey-lime mixture then flip the salmon. Let it cook for another five minutes or until salmon is cooked and flaky. Pair this with a light salad or couscous for a more hearty and flavorful dinner.

Spaghetti & Turkey Meatballs

This is a healthier take on everybody’s favorite dinner. It has tomatoes, which are rich in lycopene or the antioxidant that significantly lowers cholesterol and turkey meat for a leaner and more heart-friendly source of protein.

You will need:

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 pack or 20 oz. ground turkey
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • ½ cup fresh basils leaves
  • 1 28oz. can plum tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb. spaghetti

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a baking dish with the olive oil and place it in the oven while preheating.

Mix together the ground turkey, egg, and bread crumbs using your hands in a bowl. Using an ice cream scoop, form the meat into golf ball sized meatballs. Place about 1 inch apart in the hot baking dish. Press down to flatten the bottom just slightly.

Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, then turn them over and continue baking for about 5 more minutes, or until somewhat crispy on the outside.

Make the sauce by heating 1 tbsp. of olive oil in a large saucepan. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add the canned tomatoes, water, fresh basil as well as salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and simmer until thickened.

Cook the spaghetti until al dente according to package instructions and drain.

Place meatballs on top of spaghetti and cover it with tomato sauce. Add parmesan cheese or red pepper flakes to your liking. Serve and enjoy.

Arugula & Goat Cheese Pizza

Who says you can’t have pizza while in a low-cholesterol diet? This pizza is made healthy by using goat cheese instead of the usual cheese. It also has walnuts, which are rich in polyunsaturated fats and the only nut source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids that can significantly lower cholesterol levels.

You will need:

  • ¼ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 whole-wheat pizza crust, about 8 oz.
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ oz. goat cheese, sliced
  • ¾ cup baby arugula

Preheat oven to 450°. Place walnuts on a baking sheet for three to four minutes or until fragrant and lightly browned. Let cool on a separate plate.

Heat one tsp. of oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat and add onion. Sauté for at least six to eight minutes or until onion is soft and golden.

Place crust on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Top with walnuts, onion, and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle goat cheese on top.

Bake for five to seven minutes or until crust is golden and crisp. Scatter arugula on top and drizzle with remaining oil.

Let the pizza cool slightly before cutting into wedges.

Mixed Green with Dried Plums & Toasted Pecans

If you want something lighter for dinner, you can’t go wrong with salad. This mixed green variation has olive oil and pecans which can help lower your cholesterol.

You will need:

  • 1 tsp. sherry vinegar
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • ¼ tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. minced shallots
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 cups escarole, chopped
  • 2 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 cup pitted prunes, chopped
  • ¼ cup pecans, toasted and chopped

Prepare the dressing by whisking together the sherry vinegar, honey, and Dijon mustard in a small bowl. Add olive oil gradually, stirring with a whisk until blended. Add shallots, salt, and ground black pepper. Set aside.

Toss together escarole and romaine lettuce in a large bowl. Add prunes and pecans while continue tossing. Pour the dressing over salad. Toss again gently to coat and serve immediately.

Just because you are on a low cholesterol diet, it doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice taste. The key is to add or substitute ingredients that are known to reduce cholesterol levels.

This article contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. The information is not intended to replace the advice or diagnosis of a physician. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.