According to the NHS, the UK population has one of the highest average cholesterol concentrations in the world. Indeed, two out of every three British adults has a total cholesterol level of 5mmol/L or above, which is higher than the government recommended levels of below 5mmol/L. And the NHS is keen to stress the importance of keeping cholesterol levels in check by following a low cholesterol diet, warning that failure to do so can significantly increase our risk of heart disease and stroke.
Cholesterol is a fatty substance that is vital for normal body function. It’s produced by our liver and also found in many modern foods. Yet too much cholesterol can build up in the artery wall, restricting the flow of blood to our heart, brain and the rest of the body. It also increases the chance of a blood clot. Cholesterol is particularly concentrated in foods containing large amounts of saturated fats, such as convenience foods, including takeaway pizzas, burgers and kebabs, and fried foods such as chips and crisps.
Fortunately, following a low cholesterol diet doesn’t necessarily mean cutting out all of your favourite treats. Indeed the three delicious low cholesterol recipes below illustrate just how easy it is to enjoy tempting low cholesterol meals and snacks.
Three tasty, low cholesterol diet recipes
1) Pecan and mushroom veggie burgers
Packed with toasted pecans, mushrooms and quinoa, this healthy, low cholesterol diet burger tastes even better than the real thing!
– 2/3 cup of quinoa
– 6 tsp. of coconut oil
– 1 cup of organic mushrooms
– 1 onion (1 large)
– 1 tbsp. of balsamic vinegar
– 1/2 a cup of pecan halves
– 1 egg (beaten)
– 1/2 cup of rolled oats
– 1 tsp. of pink Himalayan salt
– A garnish of watercress
First cook the quinoa with a little pink Himalayan salt. Meanwhile, heat the coconut oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the mushrooms and onion and cook for around 10 minutes or until the vegetables are nice and tender. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and then transfer to a plate and allow to cool. Now lightly toast the pecans halves in a pan (without any oil) for around 5 minutes. Next, coarsely blend the pecan nuts and your cooled vegetables in a blender, before adding the egg and the quinoa. Blend briefly once more until you have a firm and cohesive mixture. Transfer this to a mixing bowl and stir in the rolled oats. Finally, shape the mixture into ½ inch thick burgers and cook in a non-stick pan over a medium heat until golden brown. Garnish with watercress and serve 2 pieces of wholesome broccoli bread in place of a regular bun.
2) Retro raw crispy pancakes
This mouth-watering low cholesterol diet recipe is a blast from the past – it’s also entirely raw and thus suitable for vegans, vegetarians and raw food fans.
*Please note that this low cholesterol diet recipe does require a dehydrator.
For the pancakes
– 120g of golden flax seeds
– 200g of pears
– 150g of courgettes
– 100g of tomato
– 100ml of water
– 50g of pine nuts
To prepare the pancakes, first grind the flax seeds into a fine flour. Then blend all of the pancake ingredients in a high-speed blender until you have a smooth batter. Now line your dehydrator with some non-stick sheets. Pour four circles (two on each tray) of batter, using all the mixture and spread evenly until about 7-8″ wide. To prepare the coating, grind the flax seeds into a flour and place into a bowl before hand mixing with all of the other coating ingredients. Pop the coating into a sieve and tap over the pancakes until each one is generously coated. Now dehydrate the coated pancakes at 115°F/46°C for around three hours. To prepare the yummy filling, cut the mushrooms into thin strips and add to a wide bottomed bowl. Add the oils and mix well. Leave to marinate until your pancakes are almost ready to turn. Finely dice the celery and add this along with the chia seeds, to the mushrooms. Blend the remaining filling ingredients in a high-speed blender and then add this to the mushrooms and mix thoroughly. After your pancakes have dehydrated for three hours, fill one side of each pancake with the filling. Fold the pancakes in half and press the edges together. Dehydrate for a further 2 hours before serving with a fresh, crisp salad.
Homemade kale chips
This incredibly tasty low cholesterol diet recipe is a healthy alternative to standard crisps and pretzels.
*This low cholesterol diet recipe requires a dehydrator.
– 1 handful of fresh kale (washed and dried)
– 1/2 a red pepper (cut into large chunks)
– 3/4 cup of cashew nuts
– 1 clove of garlic
– 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
– 2 tablespoons of olive oil
– 1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese
– 1 lemon (peeled and without seeds)
– Himalayan pink salt and pepper to taste
Set your dehydrator to 45-48 degrees Celsius. Then cut the kale into small bite-size pieces (be sure to remove the stems first) and place these into a mixing bowl. Pop the cashew nuts into your blender and blend into a fine powder. Next, add the red pepper, garlic, oil and Parmesan cheese and blitz once more. Add the lemon and some salt and pepper to taste. Now generously coat the kale pieces by immersing them into your mixture. Lastly, place the coated pieces of kale into your dehydrator and leave until the following morning. For optimum results store the kale chips in your fridge and eat within a week.
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