20 Easy Heart Healthy Recipes to Lower Cholesterol

If you want to make some lifestyle changes to lower your cholesterol and keep your heart healthy, your diet is the best place to start. These heart-healthy recipes can lower your cholesterol because they contain lots of fiber and antioxidants from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. And don't forget the healthy fats!

But that doesn't mean heart-healthy recipes can't be delicious! I'm a huge fan of the Mediterranean diet because the research really shows it can reduce cholesterol, blood pressure, and inflammation. And there's so much flavor variety in the Mediterranean diet, so it always tastes great.

Here are some basic cooking tips and 20 of my favorite, easy, heart-healthy recipes to help lower your cholesterol (and also your blood pressure) inspired by the Mediterranean diet.

Heart Healthy Cooking Tips

Stick to heart-healthy fats.  Wherever possible, use olive oil instead of butter or margarine. For high-heat sauteing or roasting vegetables (like 400°F +) I also like avocado oil because it's high in healthy monounsaturated fat like olive oil, but it has a higher smoke point. And all nuts, (and nut butter), seeds, olives, and avocados are very rich in heart-healthy fats, so eat a few servings each day. Just remember all are high in calories, so mind those portion sizes!

Choose mostly lean proteins like fish, chicken, turkey, tofu, or eggs. And aim to eat at least two servings of fish each week. They're low in saturated fats, which helps to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol. They're also a good source of omega-3 fats which are great for your blood pressure.

Eat lots of fruits and vegetables.  At least 5-7 servings each day.  They’re high in soluble fiber and can lower your cholesterol. And purple fruits and vegetables, like berries or purple sweet potatoes, contain polyphenol antioxidants that protect your blood vessels.

Incorporate a few meatless meals each week that feature legumes and whole grains with vegetables. They'll help bump up your cholesterol-lowering fiber even more.

Limit sodium by cooking from scratch rather than using packaged foods and go easy on the saltshaker. Cooking from scratch is probably the best thing you can do to reduce your risk of heart disease - and so many other chronic lifestyle diseases. Processed, packaged, and fast foods are all full of salt, sugar, unhealthy fats, and chemicals that promote inflammation in your blood vessels and throughout your body.

Easy Cholesterol-Lowering Breakfasts

Oats are my number one tool for heart-healthy eating. They're packed with soluble fiber which acts like a sponge and mops up bad cholesterol so it can quickly exit your body. Pair them with fruits, nuts, and seeds for an even bigger punch.

And by all means, don't be afraid of eggs! They're full of protein and research shows they can boost HDL (good) cholesterol.

Wild Blueberry Kefir Smoothie Bowl
Cool, fresh, and delicious! This healthy breakfast bowl is packed with fiber and immune-boosting ingredients to support a healthy gut and body.
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Immune Boosting Wild Blueberry Kefir Smoothie Bowl|Craving Something Healthy
Dark Chocolate Cranberry Protein Pancakes
These yummy chocolate pancakes are made with high fiber oats, and they're packed with protein to satisfy you all morning.
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Pina Colada Overnight Oats
A quick, easy, and heart healthy make-ahead breakfast that tastes like a vacation!
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Mexican Tofu and Black Bean Scramble
A high-fiber, plant-based version of your favorite breakfast burrito. It's also a quick and easy lunch or dinner idea!
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Mexican Tofu and Black Bean Scramble|Craving Something Healthy
Roasted Tomato Frittata with Goat Cheese and Herbs
A quick and easy dinner or brunch recipe that's packed with protein. 
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Easy Cholesterol-Lowering Lunch REcipes

Lunch is a great opportunity to add more colorful vegetables and fruits. Incorporate them into your salads and sandwiches whenever possible.

Chicken Berry and Brown Rice Bowl
A light and easy low glycemic dinner in a bowl
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Chicken Berry Brown Rice Bowls| Craving Something Healthy
Lower Carb Chicken Salad Sandwich Bowls
A lower carb and much easier to eat version of your favorite homemade chicken salad sandwich.
Chicken Salad Sandwich Bowls|Craving Something Healthy
Greek Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce
Make these even easier by using shredded rotisserie chicken. Perfect for lunch or a quick dinner.
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Greek Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce|Craving Something Healthy
Curried Chickpea Salad Sandwiches
Who knew chickpeas were so versatile? These really do taste just like chicken.
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Curried Chickpea Salad Sandwiches|Craving Something Healthy
Super-Simple Homemade Peanut Ramen Noodles
These are SO much better than what you ate in college. Fresh, tasty, and so satisfying.
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Super-Simple Homemade Peanut Ramen Noodles|Craving Something Healthy

Heart Healthy Dinners

There are lots of vegetarian options in these cholesterol-lowering dinner recipes. Try to make more meals that include beans, nuts, seeds, and vegetables as often as possible. They contain a nice mix of healthy fats and cholesterol-lowering fiber. Plus, they're high in potassium which helps lower your blood pressure.

Skinny Cobb Salad with Balsamic Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
A hearty but healthy dinner salad that's packed with protein and healthy fats
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Skinny Cobb Salad with Balsamic Honey Mustard Vinaigrette| Craving Something Healthy
Grilled Mediterranean Vegetables with White Beans
A Mediterranean-diet inspired light meal or side dish
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Grilled Mediterranean Vegetables with White Beans | Craving Something Healthy
Heart Healthy Mediterranean Vegetable Lentil Soup
This hearty soup is packed with vegetables, lentils and delicious Mediterranean flavors
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Five Things You Can Do For Better Heart Health |Craving Something Healthy
Spicy Lentil Cauliflower Falafel Cakes
Adapted from MarthaStewart.com   
An easy and delicious twist on falafel that's also freezer-friendly. Makes about 12 pieces
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Thai Turkey Mushroom Larb Salad
A quick and easy Thai appetizer that doubles as a light, and flavorful main course.
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Thai Turkey Mushroom Larb Salad
Wild Mushroom and Barley Soup
A rich and hearty soup that's full of umami flavor from dried and fresh mushrooms
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Wild Mushroom and Barley Soup |Craving Something Healthy

Easy Heart Healthy(ish) Desserts

It's OK to save room for dessert when it's made with healthy, wholesome ingredients. Try to add whole grains, fruits, nuts, and even some dark chocolate into your sweet treats.

Loaded Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dessert Hummus
Once you try this Loaded Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dessert Hummus, you'll want to keep some in your fridge at all times.
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Merlot Berry and Dark Chocolate Sorbet
Red wine, berries, and dark chocolate aren't only delicious, they're the ultimate heart healthy dessert!
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Boozy Mocha Nice Cream
Nice cream is the easiest ice cream ever! And this healthier treat really tastes like soft-serve ice cream.
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Boozy Mocha Nice Cream|Craving Something Healthy

What lifestyle changes have you made to reduce your cholesterol?

Eat well!

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