Ways to Include Apples in Your Cholesterol-Lowering Diet

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tpzijl, istockphoto

Apples have become the food to include when following a healthy diet. Chock-full of nutrients and soluble fiber, some studies have even suggested that the healthy ingredients found in apples can help keep your cholesterol levels in check. But how can you incorporate this delicious fruit without your diet becoming boring? You could always opt for the whole apple as a quick snack, or slice an apple up and place it in your salad.

However, there are other healthy ways to enjoy apples without your cholesterol taking a huge hit. These tips will show you healthy ways you can include apples in your cholesterol-friendly diet.

Apples for Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so why not start your day off with something nutritious and filling? Including apples would be a good way to begin your day with a satisfying meal that is high in fiber, and low in cholesterol. You can also pair your apples with other heart-healthy ingredients, such as oatmeal or nuts. When preparing your apples, you should avoid using too ​much refined sugar in your recipes, since this can heap on calories to your already sweet treat. Additionally, it can also affect your triglyceride levels. Adding ingredients like butter or full-fat milk products can also increase your fat intake, which can also affect your lipid levels. 

Apples in Your Sides and Main Dishes

When you think of incorporating apples into your meals, you probably envision consuming slices of raw apple.

However, there are many other, tasty ways to sneak apples into your cholesterol-lowering meal plan. Nuts, low-fat cottage cheese, other fruit and vegetables, and poultry are just a few of many good foods to combine your apples with to give you a quick and healthy side or main course. Just be careful about what you add to them, as this can also affect your lipid levels.

For instance, if you are looking for a topping to add on to your apple, be sure to check your ingredients for added fat or refined sugars or saturated fat. Although be creative with apples when it comes to snack time, just be careful - it is easy to go overboard, so make sure that your portions are small so that you are not adding extra calories to your meal.

Desserts

Who can resist dessert? Watching your cholesterol and triglyceride levels doesn’t mean that you have to avoid the occasional dessert at the end of your healthy meal. Unfortunately, desserts have garnered an unhealthy reputation because – depending on the type of dessert you select to consume – it can add calories and fat to your meal. If you’re adding an apple-laden dessert to your heart-healthy meal plan, here a few healthy tips:

  • If you are using a pre-packaged dessert, you should check the food label on the side of the package. Look for foods that are high in fiber and low in refined sugars and saturated fat. You should also avoid foods that contain trans fat.
  • Avoid treats that have been deep fried, as they may contain trans fat.
  • Minimize the use of heavy creams in your dessert. You can also use a low-fat variety of your favorite cream if needed.
  • Take advantage of spices. For example, a small amount of cinnamon can add a lot of flavor – rather than adding extra sugar.

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