Five Ways to Include Blueberries in Your Low Cholesterol Diet

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Carly Hennigan Photography, istockphoto

Blueberries are often touted as a “superfood” - and with good reason. Blueberries are full of nutrients, such as antioxidants, phytosterols, vitamins, and fiber - all of which can promote a healthy heart. They are also low in saturated fat - making them the perfect go-to food if you are watching your cholesterol and triglyceride levels. These healthy tips will show you the many ways you can incorporate this healthy fruit into your cholesterol-lowering diet:

Use Blueberries in a Salad

Do you need to give your salad a little extra flavor? If so, adding a handful of fresh blueberries may do the trick. Blueberries can be combined with a lot of other vegetables and fruit to give your salad a delicious taste. In fact, you may be able to forgo using salad dressing entirely due to the flavor that blueberries can add. Just make sure that you are adding healthy ingredients to your blueberry-filled salad, and limit your additions of cream-based dressings, full-fat cheeses, or fried foods - all of which can add fat and calories to your salad.

  • Superfood Salad with Blueberries

Make a Blueberry Smoothie

Smoothies - which are mainly composed of fruit, veggies, and a base such as ice, almond milk, or low-fat plain yogurt - are also the perfect food to consume if you are looking for something quick and healthy. Blueberries can become a staple ingredient in any of your smoothies and can be paired with many different types of fruit and veggies to make it a satisfying beverage.

When adding ingredients, be sure to avoid the temptation of thickening your smoothie with heavy creams, ice cream, or full-fat milk, since this can increase your saturated fat intake. Here are some examples of ways you can use blueberries in your next smoothie:

  • Bake a Healthier, Blueberry-Filled Bread

    Some commercially-made breads are high in refined sugars. By making your own breads, you know exactly the type of ingredients you are adding - and you also have the opportunity to toss in some cholesterol-friendly ingredients, such as oatmeal, whole wheat, and fruit. Blueberries can also be added to provide you with a flavorful loaf that many will enjoy. Just make sure that you avoid using too much butter or cream spreads on your bread, as this can add extra calories and saturated fat. 

     

    • Whip Up a Cholesterol-Friendly Dessert

    Blueberries are very versatile and can be placed on cakes, pastries, and frozen treats - all of which you can consume if you are following a cholesterol-lowering diet as long as you are using healthy ingredients. If you are purchasing these desserts, make sure that you read the food labels on the packaging, since some of these blueberry desserts may be high in trans fats, refined sugars, or saturated fat.

    Alternatively, you can make these desserts at home with healthy ingredients that will not greatly increase your lipid levels.

    Here are a few examples of some cholesterol-friendly desserts containing blueberries:

    • Blueberry Sorbet
    • Light Blueberry Crisp
    • Purple Popsicles

    Start Your Day with a Healthy, Blueberry-Filled Breakfast

    Breakfast is an important part of your day - so why not start it with healthy ingredients? Blueberries can be included in many of your traditional breakfast favorites, as well as by themselves if you do not have the time to cook. Here are some examples of some healthy takes on breakfasts containing blueberries:


    • When preparing your breakfast, you should use healthy spreads and toppings. You can use a phytosterol-rich spread, mashed-up berries as a quick spread, or a low-fat cream cheese. However, using syrups, full-fat spreads, and butter could add calories onto an otherwise cholesterol-friendly breakfast.

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