With the coming days, High cholesterol which leads to heart problems is becoming a major concern for many individuals. But this problem can be easily controlled with a proper healthy diet. A Healthy diet doesn’t always have to be boring. If you follow few basic guidelines you can have delicious meals which are quite healthy too.
First thing you have to do is start eating salad everyday. You can make your salads very healthy and tasty by adding a few ingredients and avoiding a few. Adding a wrong ingredient can have a negative impact on your waistline and eventually on your cholesterol levels too. Here’s how to keep your salads healthy and delicious.
Base: Choose a green base for your salad like lettuce, spinach, cabbage, kale or arugula. All the lettuce leaves are cholesterol friendly. Spinach is also a great food to lower cholesterol naturally and can provide some other impressive health benefits. You can switch it up between these if you are getting bored with any one.
Protein: Add more taste to your salad by throwing in few beans like chickpeas, black, white, navy, or kidney beans.Beans are actually another type of food to lower cholesterol which are rich in soluble fiber.Beans actually combine well with many other healthy foods like leafy green vegetables to create filling, tasty cholesterol lowering meals.
Vegetables:There are many types of vegetables you can include in your salad, without adversely affecting your cholesterol levels. While tomatoes, carrots and cucumbers are most commonly used, you can use any type of vegetable in your salad for variety. If you get bored with the same medley of veggie ingredients typically added to your salad, try adding avocado or peas to give your salad a different texture.
Fruits: Fruits add a lot of flavor to the salads. There is no fruit that would not be ideal to throw in your salad. While blueberries, strawberries, grapes, apple contain antioxidants which are best for lowering high cholesterol.
Nuts: Instead of using the traditional croutons, add a handful of nuts to your salad. Nuts, such as almonds, walnuts and peanuts, are composed of good fats (unsaturated fat) that can keep your cholesterol levels in check. Studies have shown that just a handful of nuts each day can lower your LDL cholesterol by 10%. Seeds (sunflower, flaxseed, sesame, etc) also would be a delicious alternative, since they also contain unsaturated fats.
Ingredients you should avoid
Cheese:Cheese can be a tasty addition to salads, but it also could be a fatty addition to your salad if you add too much of it. Cheese also contains saturated fat that could increase your cholesterol levels. If you are interested in including cheese in your salad, try using low-fat alternatives. Additionally, low-fat cottage cheese also can be used in moderation.
Croutons or Chips: These ingredients also can add fat and refined carbohydrates to your diet. If you are looking for a healthier carbohydrate to your salad, try foods like quinoa, whole-wheat croutons, wheat berry or barley. These ingredients are less refined and chock-full of soluble fiber, which can help lower your LDL cholesterol.
Red Meat, Mayonnaise, Cream, egg yolks are a big no for high cholesterol.
To some, the dressing that tops the salad is just as important as the salad itself. However, if you are not careful, it can be the very ingredient that can pile on additional calories and fat to your salad. For a healthier salad, try some of these helpful tips:
- Avoid creamy dressings, if at all possible, since these can contain a high amount of saturated fat, which can increase your cholesterol. Use Olive oil or flax seed oil for dressings.
- Look for low-fat alternatives of your favorite salad dressing.
- With any type of salad dressing, place it on the side instead of putting it directly on your salad. By lightly dipping your salad into the dressing with each bite, you can reduce the calories and fat you put into your body.
- Forgo traditional salad dressing altogether — use fruits, fruit juices, vinegar, olive oil or spices as a cholesterol-friendly approach to add additional flavor to your salad.