Delicious Lunch Ideas for Your Cholesterol-Lowering Diet

Lunch is an important meal and it's easy to be too busy to choose the right foods for your low-cholesterol diet. This may cause you to turn to fast food or the snack machine for a quick bite. Over time, that can have an impact on your waistline and wallet as well as your cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Rather than brushing off lunch as an afterthought to your day, plan ahead. By having a few healthy options ready to take to work or wherever you go, you'll be less tempted to pick up food that's more convenient than nutritious. Let's take a look at some tasty and simple ideas for lunch.

Tasty Sandwiches and Wraps

Chicken Tomato Wrap Sandwiches
Chicken Tomato Wrap Sandwiches. Linda Larsen

Sandwiches and wraps are very easy lunches that you can prepare in a hurry, even on your busiest mornings. They can also be as nutritious as they are delicious. 

It's easy to make sandwiches and wraps heart-healthy, you just have to choose the right ingredients. Include things such as veggies, fruit, whole grains, lean proteins, and nuts. Lean meats like turkey and chicken are preferred as well. 

Do be careful about adding too much cheese, bacon, or certain condiments (such as mayonnaise or tartar sauce) though. All of these could add fat and calories to your lunch.

The best part of this lunch option is that it will only become boring if you allow it to. Rotate the types of ingredients you have in the refrigerator and look for fun, new combinations to avoid a sandwich rut.

Filling and Low-Fat Soups

Not only can soups be prepared quickly, but they can also be filling, which helps prevent those mid-afternoon munchies. Soups can either be a complement to your lunch or make up the entire meal.

You can add your favorite veggies, spices, or even whole grains to create delicious and healthy soups. It is a good idea to avoid heavy creams as these can sabotage your low-cholesterol diet. Stick with a lighter broth and load up on the veggies and whole-grain pasta instead.

Homemade soup can be prepared in a large batch. Many can be frozen flat in freezer bags for up to a month, then taken out to thaw overnight. This makes lunch prep a breeze.

Cholesterol-Friendly Pizzas

Some people avoid pizza because it's viewed as fattening and can raise cholesterol. It's true that certain pizza ingredients can be damaging to your waistline and lipid levels. However, if you choose low-fat options, this can be a delicious guilty pleasure for lunch or dinner.

Feel free to load your pizza with vegetables, fruit, and lean proteins, such as chicken. You can use a low-fat variety of your favorite cheese to cut calories and fat as well.

The possibilities are endless and the more homemade pizzas you make, the easier they get. You can even have a pizza dinner and make a little extra, then save the leftovers for lunch.

Delicious and Low-Fat Salads

Are you looking for a light lunch? Salads are the perfect solution for nutritious food while avoiding a huge meal. Although salads can make a heart-healthy lunch, be careful of the ingredients you add. Poor choices may undermine your cholesterol-lowering diet.

Common culprits that could sabotage your diet include creamy dressings and buttery croutons. While you don't necessarily need to eliminate them, limiting their use is a good idea for a healthier heart. 

Look for alternatives like vinaigrettes and olive oil dressings. Rather than croutons, try a few nuts for that crispy crunch or opt for apples or grapes. Legumes like lentils, chickpeas, and beans can also make a nice salad topping.

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