By switching up some things when cooking, you can manage your blood cholesterol level and improve your heart health. The American Heart Association offers up some ways to get started:
1. Reduce saturated fat in meat and poultry: Opt for lean cuts of meat with minimal visible fat and buy “choice” or “select” grades rather than “prime.” Trim all visible fat from your meats before cooking them. Round, chuck, sirloin, or loin are lean beef cuts. Lean pork cuts are tenderloin and loin chop. When cooking with ground beef, choose lean or extra lean. Choose white meat when eating poultry and remove the skin from chicken or turkey before cooking. Eat more fish, which can be fatty or lean but is still low in saturated fat.
2. Lower dairy fats: Replace whole milk or half-and-half in recipes with low fat (1%) or fat-free (skim) milk. Substitute cheese in recipes with low-fat, low-sodium cottage cheese, part-skim milk mozzarella (or ricotta) cheese, and other low-fat, low-sodium cheese.
3. Increase fiber and whole grains: Cook with brown rice instead of white and use whole grain pasta. Toast and cube whole-grain bread to make breadcrumbs, stuffing or croutons. Add high fiber vegetables to your salads or meals, and swap fruit juice for whole fruit.