Low cholesterol recipes that will leave you salivating

Cholesterol is much more than a ‘bad fat’ in your blood; it is crucial for our wellbeing. Though it has a notorious reputation, cholesterol serves as a fundamental building block for our body’s cells and hormones. The catch is in the balance — too much of it, puts us at risk for heart disease. If you are stuck on how you can achieve this balance, check out these delicious low cholesterol recipes that are a sure-fire way to keep your heart healthy and taste buds happy.

What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that circulates in your blood. Your body needs cholesterol to build cells, Vitamin D and produce certain hormones. Triglycerides are another type of fat in the blood, but unlike cholesterol, are used to store excess energy as body fat. An excess of both cholesterol and triglycerides can lead to plaque buildup in your arteries and increase your risk of heart disease. Excess cholesterol is usually due to genetics and dietary habits (1)

How Does Diet Affect Cholesterol?

A big myth is that cholesterol is influenced by the amount of it that you eat in food. However, it’s the foods high in saturated fats, trans fats and refined carbohydrates that increase cholesterol and triglycerides. This includes common foods in the Western diet, such as:

  • fatty and processed meats
  • full fat dairy
  • coconut oil & coconut cream
  • ultra processed foods like cakes, pastries and biscuits

On the other hand, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats are rich in healthy fats such as monounsaturated fatty acids and fibre. These nutrients reduce inflammation in the body and have a role in lowering cholesterol and triglycerides. By choosing the right foods and preparing meals that support heart health, you can positively influence your cholesterol profile and reduce the risk of heart disease (2,3)

What Foods Lower Cholesterol?

Want to know which foods will give you the most bang for your buck? Here are our top 5 picks (4,5):

  1. Oats: A stellar choice for breakfast, oats contain a type of fiber known as beta-glucan, which can lower cholesterol levels.
  2. Nuts: Almonds and walnuts are packed with monounsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, and fibre, all of which can help reduce cholesterol levels.
  3. Fatty Fish: Salmon and mackerel are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are known for their role in decreasing triglycerides and reducing inflammation.
  4. Fruits: Apples, grapes, strawberries, and citrus fruits are rich in pectin, a type of soluble fiber that helps lower cholesterol.
  5. Legumes: Beans, lentils, and peas are great sources of soluble fiber, which helps prevent the absorption of cholesterol and lower triglycerides.

A day on a plate of cholesterol-lowering recipes

Breakfast: Blueberry overnight oats

Oats are a heart-healthy powerhouse, thanks to their high soluble fibre content, particularly beta-glucan, which has been shown to reduce cholesterol. Chia seeds are another superfood rich in omega-3 fatty acids and fibre, while almond butter adds a dose of monounsaturated fats, known for their heart-protective properties.

Ingredients (serves 1)

  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ⅓ cup low fat greek yoghurt
  • ½ cup milk of choice
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp almond butter
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen blueberries


  1. Mix all ingredients except the blueberries in a jar or container. Seal and leave to soak overnight or for at least 4 hours. Top with fresh berries and enjoy!

Lunch: Mediterranean chickpea salad

Both chickpeas and quinoa are an excellent source of soluble fibre and plant protein, which have both been shown to lower cholesterol levels. The olive oil in the dressing is rich in monounsaturated fats, which are also known for improving heart health by reducing inflammation.

Ingredients (Serves 1):

  • ½ cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup cooked quinoa
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ lebanese cucumber, diced
  • ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbs chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
  • 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 30g feta
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large salad bowl, combine the chickpeas, quinoa, cherry tomatoes, diced cucumber, red onion, olives and parsley.
  2. In a small mixing bowl or jar, combine the extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Whisk or shake to combine.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and toss until everything is well coated. Sprinkle with feta cheese.

Dinner: Honey Soy Salmon with Asian Greens

Salmon is celebrated for its high omega-3 fatty acid content, which is associated with lowering triglyceride levels and inflammation. Accompanied by garlic, which has been suggested to have cholesterol-lowering effects, and broccoli, a vegetable full of fiber, this meal is a nutritional powerhouse for supporting cardiovascular health.

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 2 skinless salmon fillets (about 100-120g)
  • 4 tbs honey
  • 2 tbs salt-reduced soy sauce
  • 1 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbs sesame seeds
  • 500g steamed asian greens (e.g. broccoli, green beans, bok choy, snow peas),
    Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Pat the salmon dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. Whisk together the honey, soy sauce, vinegar and garlic in a small bowl.
  3. Drizzle the oil in a fry pan over medium high heat. Place salmon in the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes. Turn the salmon over and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until golden.
  4. Pour the sauce over the salmon and cook for another minute.
  5. Remove the salmon onto serving plates. Serve with steamed greens and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Snack: Super greens smoothie

Full of hidden veg and soluble fibre, this smoothie is the perfect afternoon snack to keep you full and satisfied. Plus, the avocado and pumpkin seeds offer plenty of monounsaturated fats to support cholesterol levels.

Ingredients (serves 1):

  • 1 large apple, roughly chopped, core & seeds removed
  • 1 small lebanese cucumber, roughly chopped
  • ¼ avocado
  • 60g cauliflower, fresh or frozen
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • 5 ice cubes
  • 80mL unsweetened almond milk


  1. Place all the ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth. For best results, consume immediately.


The journey to a healthy heart is a delicious one, and it starts on your plate. With each bite of these cholesterol-conscious meals, you’re not just satisfying your appetite — you’re taking a step towards better heart health. Remember, managing cholesterol levels is less about what you need to avoid, but rather what foods to include, to build a balanced nutritious diet that supports cholesterol levels.

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