Ways to Make Your Traditional Breakfasts Low in Cholesterol

Tips for Transforming Breakfast Favorites in a Cholesterol-Lowering Diet

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Breakfast is the most important meal of the day since it can set the tone for your other meals and cravings. When you’re following a cholesterol-lowering diet, picking healthy foods for your breakfast can be a little difficult at first. Sometimes, such a diet can cause you to revert to your tried-and-true favorites, such as a bagel and cream cheese or bacon and eggs.

But starting your day with a healthy, filling breakfast can help keep your cholesterol levels within a healthy range, and also prevent cravings for unhealthy foods a few hours later.

 Here are some healthy tips to keep some of your traditional breakfast favorites heart healthy – and your appetite satisfied:

Milk and Cereal

This easy-to-make breakfast may save some time, but it could add fat and sugar to your diet early on in the day, which can elevate your lipids. To prevent this, consider making some healthy changes and additions to this traditional, quick breakfast:

  • Check the food label. Next time you reach for your favorite cereal, take a look at the nutrition label. An ideal cereal should be low in sugar and fat. If your cereal is high in one or both of these ingredients, you might consider making the switch to a different, healthier cereal. While you’re at it, also check the fiber content. Soluble fiber not only can modestly lower your LDL cholesterol levels, but it also can increase satiety (feeling full), making your breakfast more filling.
  • Use low-fat milk. Switching to low-fat or skim milk can help cut additional fat out of your cholesterol-lowering diet. Additionally, you can consider using soy milk instead of cow’s milk to your cereal.
  • Forgo artificial flavorings. Some cereals may add artificial flavors, such as berry or chocolate. Instead of using cereals that use these flavorings, consider using a plain, healthier cereal and add your own flavorings. If you are looking for a sweeter flavor, try adding fresh strawberries or blueberries. If you are craving a little more spice, consider adding cinnamon. Adding your own flavor can help cut fat and sugar out of your breakfast – and introduce healthier foods into your diet.
  • Switch it out. Cereal isn’t the only quick breakfast in a bowl. There are many other foods that can be just as filling and healthy for your heart. Warm oatmeal is an excellent alternative to cold cereal on a cold day.

Pancakes with Butter and Syrup

Pancakes are a delicious breakfast treat that could potentially add fat and sugar to your diet. Changing some of the ingredients in this traditional favorite can turn a high-calorie breakfast into one that is heart-healthy. Try some of these tips for a low-cholesterol, delicious pancake breakfast:

  • Add fiber to your pancakes. Adding oatmeal or other whole grains to your pancake batter can add fiber and bulk to your pancakes – without adding too many calories.
  • Scrap the butter and syrup. These two ingredients have the most potential to add fat and sugar to your breakfast. Switching to healthier ingredients can add a whole lot of flavor without increasing your cholesterol levels. Add a handful of fresh berries or cherries to the top of your pancakes. Craving for a creamy ingredient? Instead of butter, reach for a dollop of plain, non-fat yogurt.
  • Spice it up. Adding cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, pumpkin or other spices to your pancake batter can add additional flavor to an otherwise plain pancake.

Bagels and Cream Cheese

If prepared right, bagels can be a heart-healthy, light breakfast. However, adding the wrong ingredients can create a bagel that is calorie-dense and potentially sabotage your cholesterol-lowering diet. If bagels are the food you turn to for your breakfast, consider making these changes in making your breakfast more cholesterol-friendly:

  • Select high-fiber bagels. Selecting bagels that are whole grain or whole wheat are healthier choices than other bagel types.
  • Add only healthy toppings. Cream cheese is a common additive, but it could pack on the fat if not used sparingly. In this case, opt for spreads that are low in fat. If you are looking to change things up, consider making your own spreads by adding fresh chopped fruit of your choice, smoked salmon, chives or low-fat yogurt, all of which could add flavor without packing on too much fat.
  • Switch it up with alternative foods. Getting a little tired of eating bagels every day? Try eating a muffin instead. When prepared right, muffins also offer you a nutritional, high-fiber alternative to bagels. If you are looking for ideas, there are many delicious, low-fat recipes out there that use heart-healthy ingredients such as oatmeal, fruit, and spices.

Bacon and Eggs

When you think of a big breakfast, bacon and eggs are most commonly included in the menu. However, these two ingredients can also introduce more fat and cholesterol into your cholesterol-lowering diet. Here are some low-fat takes on this breakfast favorite:

  • Eggs: Eggs contain a lot of protein and other nutrients, but are also high in cholesterol - most of which is contained in the yolk. If you’re looking to cut the cholesterol content from the egg, try removing the yolk from the egg white during preparation. If your recipe calls for more than one egg, you could use one whole egg and add the white from another egg to cut the cholesterol intake. Additionally, you can use an egg substitute, which will not contribute added cholesterol. Don’t forget to watch the other ingredients you add to your eggs. Cheese, whole milk and butter all add extra fat.
  • Bacon: Instead of using regular packaged bacon, use turkey bacon or Canadian bacon. Both of these products contain less saturated fat than their high-fat counterpart. Additionally, you could replace the bacon completely with strips of oven-baked fish.

With these healthy tips, you can enjoy your favorite breakfast items and keep your cholesterol levels healthy. Even if you are following a cholesterol-lowering diet, your breakfast can have a lot of variety and will never be boring.

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