One of the easiest ways to add (cholesterol-lowering) dietary fiber to your diet is at breakfast. Many think Cheerios is a heart-healthy cereal, and in some ways it is. But there are many more fiber-rich cereals than Cheerios. Back in 2013 I wrote a post, The Cheerios Myth, about how much cereal you’d have to eat to get a decent amount of dietary fiber (spoiler alert – A LOT).
Which is why I have a glass of Metamucil and eat Oatmeal for breakfast every day (if I do nothing else heart-healthy, at least I get a good start at breakfast!)
But a reader recently reached out to let me know the link comparing breakfast cereals in that Cheerios Myth post no longer worked (thank you,
The USDA just published the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. As it’s 2020 of course there is controversy. The clash concerns sugar and alcohol. In these updated guidelines, the federal government rejected their own scientific advisory committee’s recommendation to lower sugar and alcohol targets. So once again, politics trumped science. Sigh.
Disappointment aside, the guidelines are helpful in other ways.
For those of us looking to lower cholesterol with a heart-healthy diet, these guidelines are useful. First of all, they conclude that health can improve with diet and exercise: the very core of the first step in managing heart health.
Like everyone, I am weary of all the meal planning and home cooking that is now our norm.
So when my sister told me about a healthy soup that’s easy to make and has a really nice kick, I had to try it. Even though I do not—usually—find soup satisfying enough for a meal.
This soup, though, is different. This recipe for Thai Curry Sweet Potato Soup is from the interesting website Healthy Meal Plans. They offer free “Dietician-Prepared Meal Plans” and interesting recipes. In fact, I found this heart-healthy soup so good and so satisfying (and so easy to make) that I’ve whipped up a potful three times this fall.
I’m always on the lookout for heart-healthy recipes that are easy to make and yield leftovers…and nutritionist Dana White’s Sweet and Spicy Pork Carnitas recipe, from her Healthy Instant Pot cookbook, really delivers.
It may not be the most appealing photo (because of course I forgot to take a shot of the finished meal) but here’s an off-center pic I took in the early stages of cooking, showing 1 tenderloin cut into 3 pieces, topped with sliced red onion.
This recipe produces a full flavor, meaty, satisfying dinner with only 1 gram of saturated fat per serving.
Everyone can help lower their cholesterol with a heart-healthy diet and daily exercise (even walking!) But if high cholesterol and heart disease run in your family, your risk may be too high to manage with diet and exercise alone.
Genetics are a huge factor in cholesterol and heart health, and yet many never discuss cholesterol and heart disease with their relatives. To manage your risk, you need to fully understand it. And that means you need to know your family history.
So here’s an idea for your next family Zoom. Ask, “Does high cholesterol and/or heart disease run in our family?”