Oatmeal keeps cholesterol in check, helps fight against heart disease, and keeps you full until lunch, thanks to its soluble fiber. Look for old-fashioned or steel-cut varieties.Try this: For a savory breakfast, drizzle cooked oatmeal with olive oil and sprinkle with Parmesan.
You’ll get nearly 20 percent of your daily dose of fiber in one half-cup serving of avocado, plus cholesterol-lowering monounsaturated fats.Try this: For a side dish, halve an avocado, drizzle with soy sauce and fresh lime juice, and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Or try Avocado Toast.
Walnuts are a solid source of omega-3 fatty acids—the fats that lower the bad-for-you cholesterol (LDL) and raise the good-for-you kind (HDL).Try this: For a healthy on-the-go snack, pack a handful of walnuts with some dried figs and a few anise seeds. (As the ingredients sit together, the anise releases flavor.) Or try Corn Salad With Feta and Walnuts.
Meaty and filling, as a stand-in for beef, mushrooms can slash up to 400 calories from a meal.Try this: Sauté sliced mushrooms and shallots until tender. Add a splash of white wine and cook until evaporated. Serve over roasted fish or chicken. Or try Mushroom White Pizza.RELATED: Why People Are Adding Mushrooms to Everything From Coffee to Smoothies
Rich in probiotics (bacteria that may improve digestion and increase your immunity), this extra-thick style of yogurt can contain 8 grams more protein per serving than conventional yogurt.Try this: Mix with ground cumin, chopped cucumber, garlic, and cilantro. Serve with grilled chicken. Or try Beef Stroganoff With Yogurt and Dill.
The whites offer up protein with minimal calories (and zero fat or cholesterol). Egg yolks get a bad rap, but don’t skip them—they are awash with vitamin B12 and vitamin A, and they contain choline, a nutrient that’s particularly important for pregnant women.Try this: Make a sandwich with whole-grain bread, sliced hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes, olives, anchovies, red onion, and a drizzle of olive oil. Or try Steak and Eggs With Seared Tomatoes.
These young soybeans pack more fiber per serving than shredded-wheat cereal and have the same amount of protein as roasted turkey.Try this: Puree cooked edamame with garlic, olive oil, and fresh lemon juice for a quick hummus-like spread. Or try
Ounce for ounce, this fuzzy fruit contains twice the amount of vitamin C as an orange and almost as much potassium as a banana.Try this: Thinly slice, then drizzle with honey and sprinkle with toasted unsweetened coconut.
The darker the color, the richer these tubers are in the antioxidant beta-carotene.Try this: For a side dish, steam cut-up sweet potatoes and apples. Puree with maple syrup and crushed red pepper.
The payoff from this leafy green: loads of vitamin C, beta-carotene, calcium, and antioxidants. Kale is also a good source of lutein, an eye-friendly nutrient that may slow macular degeneration by more than 40 percent.Try this: Make kale chips by tearing the leaves into pieces and tossing with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 300° F until crisp, 20 to 30 minutes.
Another high-fiber cholesterol fighter. On weeknights use the pearl or quick-cooking variety. More time? Give hulled barley, with its extra layer of bran,
The antioxidants in this winter squash keep skin healthy; its potassium helps lower blood pressure.Try this: Peel, cut into chunks, and roast with olive oil and sprigs of fresh thyme.
Heart-healthy monounsaturated fats abound in these protein-rich spreads, especially peanut and almond butter. Opt for those with just two ingredients: nuts and salt.
Chard is supercharged with nutrients—think calcium, B vitamins, and beta-carotene. This leafy green fuels your body with fiber, too.
Made from wheat that has been steamed, dried, and cracked, bulgur delivers more fiber than brown rice, plus you get a boost of potassium, B vitamins, and calcium.
Whole-grain pasta contains three times the amount of fiber per serving as the typical semolina variety. Skip pasta labeled “multigrain,” as it may be made with a number of grains and they aren’t necessarily whole ones.
These burrito mainstays boast antioxidants and magnesium, which helps maintain nerve and muscle function.
You’ll get iron (for healthy hair), plus folate and at least a dozen flavonoids—compounds that are loaded with antioxidants.
A chili essential, kidney beans were found to be one of the most antioxidant-rich foods in a USDA study.
It may cook like a grain, but quinoa is actually an herbaceous plant. It’s a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids, and offers the same energy and satiety you would get from meat, sans the fat or cholesterol.
A protein powerhouse, lentils are flush with folate, a nutrient that may prevent certain birth defects.
The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon may improve your mood and keep your skin glowing. Why wild? It’s exposed to fewer toxins than the farmed Atlantic variety.
A dinner staple from the leanest part of the bird: half a breast has just 2.5 grams of fat and more than 22 grams of protein.Try this: Shred cooked chicken and toss with olive oil, raisins, curry powder, and fresh lime juice.
Your go-to source for vitamin C, which, among other useful traits, can help the body burn fat. And in addition to helping prevent colds, the vitamin C in oranges may stimulate collagen synthesis to keep skin looking supple.
This protein-rich winner is an acquired taste for some, but totally worth it. Chockablock with vitamins D and B12, sardines are also an excellent source of calcium and omega-3 fatty acids.
Almonds are packed with monounsaturated fatty acids, which keep blood vessels healthy. The plant fibers help lower cholesterol.
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Olive oil is an outstanding source of monounsaturated fats. When used in moderation, this tasty Mediterranean staple may even cut the risk of heart disease.
Packed with fiber, this superfruit was one of the top antioxidant-rich picks in a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) study.Try this: Serve over vanilla frozen yogurt with a pinch of ground cardamom.
A vitamin C gold mine—a half-cup of cooked broccoli satisfies 80 percent of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s recommended daily dose. It’s also a key source of vitamin K, which helps blood clot properly.