Two ‘heart-healthy’ lunches recommended by a registered dietitian

High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips

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“Too much saturated fat in your diet can raise levels of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol in the body,” said Garton. An excess of cholesterol can lead to heart disease, as well as increase the risk of a stroke or heart attack. “Reducing intake of saturated fats, and swapping for healthy unsaturated fats, can help to manage cholesterol levels,” Garton added.

This is “especially important for those who have already had a cardiovascular event”.

“One tasty, heart-healthy lunch option is a red chilli and bean soup,” recommended Garton.

“This low-fat, plant-based one-pot lunch is packed with vegetables and beans.

“And with a slight chilli kick, it will help to keep you full until your next meal.”

Garton explained: “Pulses such as peas, beans and lentils are a good replacement for meat.

“They’re high in protein and fibre, and low in saturated fats.”

Garton elaborated: “The type of fibre found in pulses can help to reduce the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream.”

Another recipe recommended by Garton is “cheese and walnut butties”.

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“This creamy and crunchy sandwich will help make lunchtime healthy as well as delicious and filling,” assured Garton.

“All you need is some wholemeal, granary or rye bread, lower-fat cheese spread, walnuts, and celery.”

Garton said: “Swapping your white bread for wholemeal alternatives helps boost your fibre intake, keeping you feeling full for longer.”

Such a recipe ensures “you’re getting healthy fats” into your system.

In terms of dairy products in general, Garton advises people to opt for low-fat versions of yoghurts and cheeses.

Heart UK notes: “Healthy eating can make a huge difference to your cholesterol levels and your heart health.”

Healthy eating

In addition to healthy lunches, it’s important to be mindful of what you eat for breakfast and dinner, as well as snacks.

Good additions include:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Pulses
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Wholegrains.

Swapping meat-based meals for vegetarian options has been advised for people trying to lower their cholesterol levels.

When eating out, it’s ideal to scan the menu for the words “steamed, poaches, grilled and baked”.

These are indicative of healthier alternatives compared to foods described as “crispy, fried, sauteed, buttery, cheesy, au gratin, and creamy”.

If you would like more information on lowering your cholesterol levels, visit Heart UK.

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