Cooking for Lower Cholesterol

Updated:Feb 26,2014

Father and Daughter CookingIt's not hard to whip up recipes that fit with the low saturated fat, low trans fat, low-cholesterol eating plan recommended by scientists to help you manage your blood cholesterol level and reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. Discover how easy it is to avoid excess saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol while enjoying mouth-watering dishes.

Our cooking tips listed below will help you prepare tasty, heart-healthy meals.

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Cooking Tips

The American Heart Association recommends eating no more than six ounces of cooked lean meat, poultry (skinless), fish or seafood a day for people who need 2,000 calories. Most meats have about the same amount of cholesterol, roughly 70 milligrams in each three-ounce cooked serving (about the size of a deck of cards). But the amount of saturated fat in meats can vary widely, depending on the cut and how it's prepared. Here are some ways to reduce the saturated fat in meat:

  • Select lean cuts of meat with minimal visible fat. Lean beef cuts include the round, chuck, sirloin or loin. Lean pork cuts include the tenderloin or loin chop, while lean lamb cuts come from the leg, arm and loin.
  • Buy "choice" or "select" grades rather than "prime." Select lean or extra lean ground beef.
  • Trim all visible fat from meat before cooking.
  • Broil rather than pan-fry meats such as hamburger, lamb chops, pork chops and steak.
  • Use a rack to drain off fat when broiling, roasting or baking. Instead of basting with drippings, keep meat moist with wine, fruit juices or an acceptable oil-based marinade.
  • Cook a day ahead of time. Stews, boiled meat, soup stock or other dishes in which fat cooks into the liquid can be refrigerated. Then the hardened fat can be removed from the top.
  • When a recipe calls for browning the meat first, try browning it under the broiler instead of in a pan.
  • Eat chicken and turkey rather than duck and goose, which are higher in fat. Choose white meat most often when eating poultry.
  • Remove the skin from chicken or turkey, before cooking. If your poultry dries out too much, first try basting with wine, fruit juices or an acceptable oil-based marinade and if that does not help, leave the skin on for cooking but remove before eating.
  • Limit processed meats to none or no more than two servings per week. Examples of processed meats include sausage, bologna, salami and hot dogs. Many processed meats — even those with "reduced fat" labels — are high in calories and saturated fat. They are often high in sodium as well. Read labels carefully and choose such meats only now and then.
  • Organ meats such as liver, sweetbreads, kidney and brain are very high in cholesterol. If you're on a cholesterol-lowering diet, eat them only occasionally.




This content was last reviewed on 12/10/2012.


 


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