Ways to Include Mushrooms in Your Cholesterol-Lowering Diet

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Mushrooms are a type of fungus commonly found on the ground and sometimes on trees. This delicious food is chock-full of nutrients, including fiber, vitamin D, minerals, and protein. Since mushrooms are also low in carbohydrates and fat free, this makes them a good food to include in your diet if you are watching your cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Most edible mushrooms do not have a particularly strong taste, so they can be included in practically any dish you create.

However, because some mushrooms contain poisons that could harm you, it is always a good idea to be sure that the mushroom you are eating is edible before you put it on your plate. Edible mushrooms – which are commonly available in your local grocery store - are very versatile, and this list will give you some good ideas on how to include mushrooms in your heart heathy diet.

Including Mushrooms in Soup

If you’re looking to add a little more fiber and protein to your soup – without the added fat – mushrooms are a good ingredient to have on hand. You can either cook mushrooms to use the broth in the soup, or throw in some mushrooms and cook them with your other soup ingredients. As with any food, you should be careful what you pair with your mushrooms and other healthy ingredients, as this could add fat and calories to your soup. If you wish to add cheeses sour cream to your soup, use a low fat version instead to decrease the amount of saturated fat added.

Low-fat plain Greek yogurt can also be a healthier alternative to sour cream. Speaking of cream – creaming your soups can also add saturated fat to your meal. Therefore, instead of selecting creamed mushroom soup, select soups that have a clear broth (preferably vegetable, mushroom, or low-fat chicken) and are chock-full of vegetables, whole grains, beans, lentils, or lean meats.​

Using Mushrooms in Your Sides

Mushrooms can be cooked, cut up, and added to many side dishes. You can either add it into your favorite vegetable or rice side dish or substitute it for meat in some of your heartier sides. When preparing your mushrooms, make sure that you are cooking them sparingly in an oil, such as vegetable or olive oil. Although it may be tempting to sautee them in butter or margarine, doing so could introduce extra fat into your meal. 

Mushroom-Filled Entrees

Mushrooms can be used in the main course – whether you decide to add mushrooms as part of the dish or make it the main attraction. There are many heart-healthy ways to prepare your mushrooms, including sautéing, roasting, and braising. You can also throw mushrooms on the grill along with your other lean meats and fish. When preparing your mushrooms for the main course, you should make sure that you are minimizing the amount of salt used – especially if you are watching your salt intake. If you are wanting to cut out extra fat from meat-containing entrée, you can substitute the meat you are using for a larger mushroom – such as Portobello – dice them and combine them with beans to form a meatless patty

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