Including Berries in Your Cholesterol-Lowering Diet


Cranberry, raspberry, blueberry, strawberry, blackberry – when you think of “berries”, these fruits are probably the common ones that come to mind. There is mounting evidence suggesting that some of these berries – especially strawberries and blueberries – can help keep your lipid levels healthy. These fruits are low in fat and calories – and are high in vitamins, fiber, and cholesterol-friendly phytosterols - making them the perfect, sweet treat to include in your lipid-lowering diet.

These tips will show you healthy ways to include your favorite berries in your healthy diet.

Berries for Breakfast

Are you looking for something tangy and sweet to add to your breakfast routine? Add a handful of berries to the mix. Regardless of the type, berries can be added to your favorite whole-grain cereals, oatmeal, or high-fiber breads. Berries can also be added to your favorite smoothies to give you a quick, delicious breakfast that is chock-full of nutrients. When preparing muffins, pancakes, or other breakfast breads, make sure that you are using whole-grain or whole-wheat ingredients to maximize your fiber intake. Additionally, you should limit the addition butter and sugary jellies to your breads – these can add extra calories to your breakfast. 

Berry Snacks

Berries are easy and quick to prepare – making them the perfect food to snack on. Not only can you grab a handful of your favorite berries and go, you can also chop up a serving of your favorite berries and mix them with other fruit, nuts, and grains to create a tasty snack.

Salads Containing Berries

When you think of salads, you might think of a mixture of leafy greens and other vegetables. However, berries can also be the perfect addition to your favorite salads. Whether you are craving a fruit or traditional vegetable salad, berries can be added to practically any healthy salad to sweeten the dish.

Salads are generally low in calories and fat, but some ingredients you add to them could make them unhealthy. Adding creamy dressings can add a heaping of fat and calories to your salad. To make your salad healthier, can use a low-fat version of your dressing on the side or sprinkle the juice from your favorite berries onto the salad to increase the flavor without adding extra calories. Luckily, there are many ways to experiment with your salad – and berries blend well with many types of heart-healthy ingredients – including nuts, grains, beans, chickpeas, and other fruits and vegetables.

Berry-Filled Desserts

Desserts are often thought of as the forbidden treat in a lipid-lowering diet. Luckily, you can have berries for dessert even if you are trying to follow a healthy diet. In fact, some berries can be consumed alone, making them a nice ending to a delicious meal. Berries can also be pureed and placed into a popsicle or sorbet for a cooler treat. Since some berries can be a little tart, it may be tempting to sprinkle sugar on them.

However, this gesture can add calories to your diet, so you should minimize the sugar that you add to them or use a sugar substitute. If you’re craving cream with your berries, you should use a low-fat or no-fat version to avoid adding fat to your diet. 

Dinner with Berries

Although a berry-inspired medley may not strike you as a filling entree, substituting a berry topping for your typically fattening gravy or sauce may not only help cut to calories – it can also help introduce healthy nutrients into your cholesterol-friendly dinner. Berries can be diced and mixed in with other fruits and vegetables to make a fresh salsa on the side, or it can be made into a relish or chutney that can be used as a garnish for your lean poultry or fish dish. The sugar added to some of these toppings can add calories to your dish, so you should watch how much sugar you add to your meal.

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