Are you looking for recipes to promote healthy cholesterol levels?
Cooking with beans and legumes like lentils is a great strategy. Lentils are rich in dietary fiber, both the soluble and insoluble types, which may help lower cholesterol and risk of heart disease and prevent constipation, respectively. Additionally, since they have no saturated fat, legumes are a wonderful protein choice for healthy cholesterol levels. Practicing “Meatless Mondays” can be a heart-healthy tactic to reduce saturated fat intake and increase fiber if you choose wisely by incorporating low fat and high fiber protein sources like lentils, beans, or tofu, but may backfire if you're going meatless by choosing choices high in saturated fat like creamy pastas, cheese-laden items, or foregoing a protein source altogether.
Men should aim for at least 30 grams of fiber a day and women need at least 25 g a day. One cup of cooked lentils provides more than 15 grams of dietary fiber. This soup is full of other colorful veggies, uses herbs and alliums to add flavor without adding sodium, and is an easy meal for dinner or to prep for a few lunches during the work week. Need additional support with choices to manage cholesterol levels? Our Registered Dietitian team is ready to help you toward your health goals! Bon appetit.
- 1 onion, chopped
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups dry lentils
- 8 cups water
- ½ cup spinach, rinsed and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- salt to taste
- ground black pepper to taste
- In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat.
- Add onions, carrots, and celery; cook and stir until onion is tender.
- Stir in garlic, bay leaf, oregano, and basil; cook for 2 minutes.
- Add in lentils, and add water and tomatoes.
- Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat, and simmer for at least 1 hour.
- When ready to serve, stir in spinach, and cook until it wilts.
- Stir in vinegar, and season to taste with salt and pepper and more vinegar if desired.
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– Keeley Mezzancello, MS, RD, LDN, CHWC
Health Advisor, Registered Dietitian | Email Keeley