Heart-healthy meal ideas to work into your week

Published 6:34 am Saturday, February 9, 2019

Simply put: If you’re trying to reduce your total cholesterol, it’s important to include foods that are high in fiber and low in saturated fat.

Foods that typically contain saturated fat include butter, fatty meat, cream, cheese, fried foods and highly processed snack foods. Now, you might be thinking: Shouldn’t I be avoiding cholesterol instead? And the answer is: not really. Studies show that saturated fats raise blood cholesterol more than the cholesterol in your eggs.

In fact, according to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, eggs are included in the examples for healthy diets.

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So why all the fiber? Well, there are two kinds of fiber: insoluble and soluble. It’s the soluble fiber—found in oatmeal, apples, pears, berries and beans, to name a few—that binds to LDL (bad cholesterol) and prevents it from being absorbed.

Below are a few recipe ideas that are high in fiber and low in saturated fats.

Chicken and farro

Farro is another underappreciated grain with a nice chewy texture and nutty flavor. Use it instead of rice or quinoa to make a grain bowl, as a simple side dish (a squeeze of lemon with a little salt and pepper is all it takes), or as a bed for garlicky chicken and veggies. Find the recipe for Feta Chicken with Veggies and Farro at Hy-Vee.com.


Salmon with black beans

Black beans are an excellent source of fiber, and while it may sound strange to pair them with salmon, this combo really works. Plus you get the added benefit of omega-3s from the salmon, which may reduce triglycerides. Find the recipe for Cumin-Scented Salmon with Black Bean Stew at Hy-Vee.com.


Quinoa oatmeal

Starting your day with oats is a good way to increase your fiber, but by using different grains in your hot cereal, you get even more nutrient variety. You also can get more fiber in the morning by adding fresh or dried fruit on top. Try the recipe below for a fiber boost.

Hot Apple-Quinoa Oatmeal

  • Serves 4

All you need

  • ½ cups steel-cut oats
  • ½ cups quinoa
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 Braeburn apple, unpeeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 tsp Hy-Vee ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp Hy-Vee salt
  • 2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp golden raisins
  • 2 tbsp Hy-Vee dried cherries
  • 2 tbsp agave nectar
  • Hy-Vee low-fat vanilla yogurt

All you do

  1. In a 4-quart microwave-safe bowl, combine oats, quinoa, flaxseed, apple, cinnamon and salt. Stir in water. Microwave on high for 12 minutes.
  2. Stir in raisins, cherries and agave nectar. Top with low-fat vanilla yogurt.

The information is not intended as medical advice.