Tips To Make Your Food
Healthier And Lower Cholesterol

Food Gifts are wonderful to make and give, but some of your recipients may have special dietary considerations. Does this mean that you can’t make them something special? Of course not! A variety of your favorite recipes can be made healthier simply by substituting lower-fat ingredients. Consider the list of ingredients on your recipe. Then consider the table below to check out if any of the ingredients are placed in the left column. If that's so, you can make the recipe a healthier one using the ingredient in the right column instead.

Instead Of: Use This:
Whole eggs,
egg yolks
Egg-whites or
¼ cup egg substitute
ButterLiquid or tub margarine,
unsaturated vegetable oils,
butter-flavored granules,
spices and herbs to flavor food
MayonnaiseNonfat yogurt, mustard,
low-fat or nonfat mayonnaise
Regular yogurt,
sour cream
Nonfat yogurt,
nonfat sour cream
Potato chips Low-fat or baked chips,
Whole or 2% milk Skim or 1% milk
Whole-milk ice cream Ice milk, low-fat frozen yogurt,
low-fat or nonfat ice cream,
Whole-milk cheeseReduced-fat, low-fat,
nonfat cheese
Whole-milk sour cream Nonfat or low-fat sour cream,
oil, palm oil,
palm kernel oil
Unsaturated oils, such as
safflower, sunflower, canola,
olive oil
Regular salad dressingsLow-fat or nonfat salad dressings,

Use less fat in recipes. Where a recipe calls for 1 cup of butter, use ½ cup butter and replace the other half with 1/4 cup of prune puree. You may make prune puree by pureeing 1 1/3 cups of pitted prunes and 6 tablespoons of hot water in a blender or food processor. This makes one cup of puree. For baked goods, it is easy to replace 1 cup of butter, oil, margarine, or shortening with 1 cup of applesauce and still have a moist, great-tasting item without all of the fat and calories.

Follow these guidelines for the healthiest cooking methods:

  • Bake, broil, roast, steam, microwave, poach, grill or stir-fry with only a little oil.
  • Use nonstick pans.
  • Spray a light coating of vegetable oil in place of liquid oil or butter, or cook with defatted broth, bouillon, fresh fruit juices, or wine.
  • Thicken sauces and soups with skim or 1% milk and a little flour or cornstarch instead of whole-milk products.

If you are looking for ways to reduce your own cholesterol, try substituting non-animal sources of protein once or twice a week, like tofu, beans, peas, or lentils. This could take some getting used to if you are a so-called meat-and-potatoes woman / man. If this sounds new for you, have a look at some vegetarian cookbooks or magazines to get ideas for preparation methods and spices.

Make gradual changes. With time, you'll get used to your new meals, plus your tastes will change. Adding more vegetables can also increase your dietary fiber, which helps lower your LDL - or bad - cholesterol.

Dietary fiber is found in all the following:

  • Oats
  • Oranges
  • Pears
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Dried Peas and beans

It is possible to choose healthy food and after that without realizing it add unhealthy ingredients if you aren't wise about how exactly you add flavor. Use herbs rather than butter or margarine. Or make use of a little unsaturated vegetable oil. Many cookbooks have lists of herbs that bring out the flavor of foods. Try some. You're apt to discover some new flavors that you like. Try basil on zucchini, for example. Or use lemon pepper on broccoli.

The word homemade usually makes food sound better. And, not surprisingly perhaps, it often tastes better too. The important secret is that it's usually healthier for you. Use fewer prepackaged foods. Prepackaged sauces, mixes and instant products, such as instant rice, pasta meals, and instant cereals often contain extra fat and sodium. It is very easy to make your own seasoning mixes and sides that are healthier than their "convenient" counterparts, and you know exactly what's in them.

About the writer - Georgia Rascon writes for the low cholesterol food recipes blog , her personal hobby webpage dedicated to suggestions to eat healthy to prevent high cholesterol levels.

Author's note: The words provided on this document are designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her doctor. Georgia Rascon has not business intent and does not accept direct source of promotion coming from health or pharmaceutical businesses, doctors or clinics and websites. All content supplied by her is based on her editorial judgment and it’s not driven by an advertising purpose.

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