17 Heart-Healthy Recipes That Actually Taste Great (2024)

Approximately 71 million Americans (more than 20%) have high cholesterol. Your diet is very important if you're trying to lower yours. Follow these heart-healthy guidelines:

Eat whole grains and beans. They're high in soluble fiber, which basically binds to the cholesterol you eat so that it passes out of your body instead of sticking around to clog up your arteries.

Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. Some fruits and veggies contain lots of soluble fiber, while others contain more insoluble fiber (which is also good for you but doesn't affect cholesterol). Eat a variety of fruits and veggies so you get plenty of both kinds of fiber.

Eat vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds. The monounsaturated fats in these foods can lower your LDL cholesterol, aka bad cholesterol. Walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and flax seeds are all good choices.

Eat fatty fish, nuts, and avocado. "Omega-3 fatty acids may help raise HDL cholesterol, which is your good cholesterol," says Keri Gans, a New York-based registered dietitian and the author of The Small Change Diet. Salmon is great for Omega-3s, but so are lots of other fish like trout, mackerel, and sardines.

Limit fatty animal products, such as whole milk, processed meats, and high-fat cuts of red meat. Saturated fat, present in all those foods, has long been considered a major threat to heart health because it can raise the amount of cholesterol in your blood. Recent research questions that wisdom, but Gans says she still follows American Heart Association guidelines. "I still advise my patients to limit saturated fats," she told BuzzFeed. Play it safe by keeping plenty of variety in your diet and not relying solely on animal-based foods for your protein.

2. Apple and Chicken Egg White Omelet

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When you're looking for a savory breakfast, make an egg white omelet. (All of the cholesterol in eggs is found in the yolk.) This one is full heart-healthy nuts, apples, and collard greens, so you won't miss the cheese. Just swap out the coconut oil for olive oil — coconut oil is high in saturated fat and "the verdict is still out" on its health impact, says Gans. Recipe here.

3. Curry Roasted Vegetable and Avocado Naan-Wich

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Chickpeas and whole grain naan for fiber, avocado for healthy fats, and curry because it's delicious. Recipe here.

4. Black Bean and Corn Burger

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This burger comes with beans and oats, both of which are full of soluble fiber. Adding avocado to the 'wich throws some omega-3s in there, too. Recipe here.

6. Thai Chicken Crunch Wraps

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Peanuts for healthy fat, cabbage and carrots for fiber, and some ginger for good measure — which, a few early studies suggest, is good for your heart. Recipe here.

7. Farro Salad with Oven-Roasted Grapes and Autumn Greens

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If you haven't tried farro yet, consider this your formal invitation. Its nutty flavor and chewy texture makes it a great, fiber-filled whole grain alternative to boring old brown rice. Grapes are also an excellent source of soluble fiber, so pile this salad onto your plate and enjoy. Recipe here.

8. Honey Mustard Salmon with Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad

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The Omega-3s in the salmon unite with the soluble fiber in the Brussels sprouts to create one delicious, heart healthy meal you can make in UNDER TEN MINUTES. Recipe here.

9. Trout Salad with Citrus and Radishes


If you're bored of salmon, try trout. It's got plenty of Omega-3s, too, and this salad combines it with almonds and oranges, another great source of that soluble fiber we won't shut up about. (And feel free to take a bigger portion than the very dainty one shown in the picture!) Recipe here.

10. Lentil and Bulgur Soup

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On top of all the fiber you're getting from the bulgur, lentils, and vegetables, you're also getting tons of protein and other nutrients. Recipe here.

11. Almond-Crusted Chicken Strips

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Try these next time you're craving fried chicken. You'll get health points for staying away from the deep fryer, and for adding in almonds, which may lower your LDL. Plus, using just the whites of the eggs means you don't get any of their cholesterol. Recipe here. (For an extra heart-health boost, try this similar recipe, made with salmon.)

12. Roasted Vegetable Salad with Garlic Dressing + Toasted Pepitas

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All those vegetables means tons of fiber, and the pumpkin seeds are full of the LDL-lowering compound phytosterol, as well as magnesium, an essential nutrient for your body's nerves, muscles, bones, and blood. Recipe here.

13. Curry Tofu Tacos with Pintos & Kale Slaw

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Between the beans, the avocado, the tofu, and the kale (yep, kale is good for cholesterol, too!), these tacos may be one of the tastiest things you can do for your heart. Recipe here.

14. Curried Quinoa with Spinach and Almonds

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Check off healthy whole grains with quinoa, good-for-you fats with almonds, and fiber in both the spinach and the raisins. Recipe here.

16. Italian Orzo Spinach Soup

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This easy, 30-minute dinner has whole wheat orzo for fiber, plus lots of all-powerful spinach, which can lower your cholesterol thanks to its high content of LDL-lowering lutein, a nutrient that — bonus! — also improves your eyesight. Recipe here.

17. Dark Chocolate Brown Rice Pudding

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Made with brown rice and almond milk, this yummy dessert has both whole grains and monounsaturated fats. But because it's, you know, a dessert, there's also a fair amout of sugar from the maple syrup, so treat yourself to (just) a single serving. Recipe here.

Focusing on specific foods to control your cholesterol is smart, but it's not everything. Maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly are also important, Gans says. And everyone's different, so speak to your doctor about what's best for you.

17 Heart-Healthy Recipes That Actually Taste Great (2024)


What is a good heart-healthy meal? ›

Boost Your Cardiovascular Health with Delicious Meals
  • Sheet Pan Chickpea Chicken. ...
  • Oven-Roasted Salmon with Charred Lemon Vinaigrette. ...
  • Chicken Kebabs. ...
  • Shrimp Scampi with Zoodles. ...
  • Morning Burritos. ...
  • Macaroni and Cheese with Cashew Cream. ...
  • Sweet Potato, White Bean Hummus, and Israeli Salad. ...
  • Seared Salmon with Pistachio Gremolata.
May 27, 2023

What food to make for someone who just had heart surgery? ›

Choose foods that have a lot of nutrition in a small amount of food, such as Carnation Instant Breakfast®. Some good protein foods are fish, skinless poultry, Greek yogurt, soy, beans and nuts. Once you begin feeling hungry again you should follow a heart-healthy diet.

What is the best dinner for high cholesterol? ›

Cholesterol-friendly recipes
  • Cinnamon porridge with banana & berries. A star rating of 4.8 out of 5. ...
  • Edamame & chilli dip with crudités. ...
  • Zingy salmon & brown rice salad. ...
  • Spiced quinoa with almonds & feta. ...
  • Vegetable & bean chilli. ...
  • Summer vegetable curry. ...
  • Vegan tagine. ...
  • Open sandwiches - Tomato, sardine & rocket.

How do you cook for someone with heart failure? ›

Be a low-salt cook.

You can bake, broil, grill, roast, poach, steam or microwave foods without salt. Skip the urge to add salt to cooking water for pasta, rice, cereal and vegetables. It is an easy way to cut back on sodium.

What is the 3 day cardiac diet? ›

The 3-Day Cardiac Diet sets strict limits on foods you can eat during specific meals. Meals generally consist of a protein source paired with fruits, vegetables, toast, or saltine crackers. Salt and pepper are the only permitted spices. For dessert, vanilla ice cream is allowed once per day during dinner.

Can you have pasta on a heart healthy diet? ›

Is pasta on a heart healthy diet? Whole grain pasta is heart-healthy. Research has shown that consuming whole grains, including whole wheat pasta, can help to prevent heart disease. Even better, tomatoes are also considered to be heart-healthy.

Are potatoes good for a heart-healthy diet? ›

As long as they're not deep-fried, potatoes can be good for your heart. They're rich in potassium, which can help lower blood pressure, and they're high in fiber, which can lower the risk for heart disease. "They are definitely not a junk food or refined carbohydrate," said Graf.

What meats are heart healthy? ›

Options include:
  • Seafood — fish and shellfish.
  • Poultry — chicken or turkey breast without skin or lean ground chicken or turkey (at least 93% lean)
  • Lean meats — like pork shoulder, beef sirloin, or lean ground beef (at least 93% lean)
  • Beans, peas, and lentils — like black beans and garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • Eggs.
Jul 1, 2023

What is the golden drink that lowers cholesterol? ›

Golden milk, also known as turmeric milk, is a common Indian drink that has recently been gaining popularity in western cultures due to many health claims.

What can I drink to flush out my cholesterol? ›

Cholesterol is often high due to excessive saturated and trans fat consumption. There are certain drinks that can help maintain an ideal cholesterol level. Some of the best drinks for cholesterol management include green tea, pomegranate juice, citrus juice, soy milk, plant-based smoothies, and red wine.

What are four signs your heart is slowly failing you? ›

You may have trouble breathing, an irregular heartbeat, swollen legs, neck veins that stick out, and sounds from fluid built up in your lungs. Your doctor will check for these and other signs of heart failure. A test called an echocardiogram is often the best test to diagnose your heart failure.

What are three things that can worsen heart failure and why? ›

Factors that can worsen symptoms of heart failure

anaemia (a condition where the blood doesn't have enough healthy red blood cells) too much salt, fluid, or alcohol in your diet. pregnancy. some viral and bacterial infections.

What are three foods our heart failure patients should avoid? ›

Foods to avoid for heart health

high-fat dairy products. fatty meats. processed meats. tropical oils and partially hydrogenated fats.

What is a good breakfast for a heart patient? ›

Scrambled eggs, whole-grain toast, one cup of milk and sliced apples. Greek yogurt with whole-grain cereal and berries. Whole-grain toast with peanut butter or alternative, sliced apples, one cup of milk. Yogurt parfait with plain yogurt, ground flax seeds or muesli and fresh fruit.

What foods should heart patients avoid? ›

Top Foods Cardiologists Want You to Avoid for Heart Health
  • Red meat (including “the other white meat”) ...
  • Bacon, hot dogs, and other processed meats. ...
  • French fries and other fried foods. ...
  • Sugary drinks and cereals. ...
  • Potato chips and snack foods. ...
  • Full-fat dairy products. ...
  • Baked goods, cookies, and pastries.
Feb 1, 2023


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