Healthy foods stave off cholesterol


Dennis Gosnell

Assistant Editor

 

Healthy foods stave off cholesterol

September is Cholesterol Awareness Education month and a vital part of maintaining a low cholesterol level is to eat and drink healthy. Here are some recipes to keep your cholesterol down and your health up.

Make your own electrolyte water mix

“How to add electrolytes to water” Livestrong.com by user EuniceB

Step 1 – Fill a 32-oz. bottle with 16 oz. of water. Distilled water is ideal because it’s the closest to pure water, but bringing tap water to a boil in a kettle will provide adequately clean water. Spring water may also be used.

Step 2  – Add a dash of salt to the water. A pinch of salt will add sodium to the mix, a necessary electrolyte for keeping the nerves healthy for sending and receiving messages in the body.

Step 3 – Add 16 oz. of fresh citrus juice. The citrus family of fruit contains calcium and potassium, which combined with salt, provides a balance for pH and fluid levels in the body.

Step 4 – Add a half-teaspoon of honey to the drink. Honey will provide glucose and help for better absorption of minerals within the body.

Step 5 – Put the cap on the bottle and shake well.

 

Healthified Chicken Tortilla Casserole

58% less sat fat • 50% less fat • 27% fewer calories than the original recipe. Smart ingredient changes keep the flavor but cut the fat by 11 grams per serving in this Mexican-inspired easy-mix oven bake. 8 servings

1 can (10 3/4 oz) 98% fat free 45% less sodium condensed cream of chicken soup

1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chiles

1 container (8 oz) fat-free sour cream

1/2 cup fat-free (skim) milk

1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

2 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast

8 yellow corn tortillas (6 or 7 inch), torn into bite-size pieces

1 medium green bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)

1 large tomato, chopped (1 cup)

1 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese or Mexican cheese blend (6 oz)

 

Step 1 
Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13×9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. In large bowl, mix soup, chiles, sour cream, milk, chili powder and cumin until blended. Stir in chicken, tortillas and bell pepper. Stir in tomato and 1 cup of the cheese. Spoon and spread mixture in baking dish.

Step 2 
Cover with foil. Bake 40 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake uncovered 5 to 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted and mixture is bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes.

Make your own trail mix snack

1. Almonds – Almonds are full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and muscle-building protein. They are also high in vitamin E and dietary fiber. Stay clear of salted varieties that might make you feel extra thirsty out on the trails.

2. Dark Chocolate – A smattering of dark chocolate chips is a great way to add a little sugar and a healthy dose of antioxidants to the mix. A little bit of the sweet stuff helps raise lowered blood sugar levels and gives the body energy it can use right away.

3. Seeds – Seeds are a great way to add variety to your trail mix while also adding healthy fats and protein. To get a dose of heart protecting Omega 3 fatty acids, sprinkle on freshly ground flax seeds. The human body cannot produce Omega 3 fatty acids, so we need to get these essential nutrients from food sources.

4. Unsweetened Fruits –Dried fruits provide vitamins and minerals, but also contain fructose, a natural sugar. Check ingredient labels to make sure sugar is not listed.

5. Oats – Oats are high in fiber and have been shown to help reduce cholesterol and protect the body from heart disease. If you’re making your own trail mix, toast rolled oats in the oven on a baking sheet to cook. Flavor with a few drops of vanilla extract or a sprinkle of cinnamon.

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