As we switch the calendar over to September, it's time to start taking a closer look at cholesterol.
September is National Cholesterol Awareness Month. Focusing on fiber is a great place to start if you are trying to lower your cholesterol. Fiber has a number of health benefits, such as helping with weight management, improving blood sugar control and fighting heart disease. To fight off heart disease, soluble fiber acts like a sponge binding to cholesterol and removing it from the body before it has a chance to be absorbed into the blood stream.
Many Americans do not get the recommended 25-38g of fiber each day. If you find yourself struggling to fulfill your fiber needs, try starting your day with a better breakfast. Here are eight tasty high-fiber breakfast ideas the family will be sure to love:
Katie Wilhelmi, RD, LD
Fruit and Nut Oatmeal. Make your favorite oatmeal with nonfat or low-fat milk. Then top it with a tablespoon of dried fruits and unsalted chopped nuts. Dried fruits with the most fiber are apricots, dates, plums and raisins. Add chia or flax seeds for crunch and even more fiber. 336 calories and 6 g fiber.
Chunky Monkey English Muffin. Top a whole wheat English muffin with a tablespoon of chunky peanut butter. Add sliced banana and top with raisins. 303 calories and 8 g fiber.
High-Fiber Cereal with Fruit. Berries top the list of fruits with the most fiber, so choose blackberries, blueberries, strawberries or raspberries, either fresh or frozen. Choose a cereal with at least 5 grams of fiber per serving, such as bran flakes or shredded wheat. 242 calories and 10 g fiber.
Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes or Waffles. Substitute whole wheat flour in your favorite pancake or waffle batter, then toss in fresh or frozen blueberries. 234 calories and 5 g fiber.
Veggie Scramble and Whole Grain Toast. Scramble an egg, and toss in a handful of spinach leaves or broccoli to make a healthy scramble. Toast a slice of whole grain bread to serve with it. 234 calories and 6 g fiber.
Blackberry Yogurt Breakfast Parfait. Layer blackberries and low-fat vanilla yogurt in a parfait glass or bowl and top with a tablespoon of granola. 272 calories and 6 g fiber.
Strawberry Banana Smoothie. Start with one cup of strawberries. Add cup plain, nonfat Greek-style yogurt, half a banana, cup orange juice and a few ice cubes. Blend in the blender and you have a healthy meal in minutes. 234 calories and 5 g fiber.
Breakfast Bean Burrito. Scramble one egg, toss in cup black beans, and place in the center of a warmed 5-inch whole grain tortilla. Top with a tablespoon of salsa and wrap it up for a high-fiber treat that you can eat on the go. 253 calories and 7 g fiber.
Serves: 2 (3 pancakes each)
Source: adapted from Hy-Vee Seasons Back to School 2013
c. Hy-Vee flour
c. whole wheat flour
c. Hy-Vee quick oats
1 tbsp. Hy-Vee sugar
1 tsp. Hy-Vee baking powder
tsp. Hy-Vee baking soda
c. Hy-Vee skim milk
2 tbsp. Hy-Vee egg substitute
2 tbsp. Hy-Vee unsweetened applesauce
Suggested toppings for pancakes: Purchase additional unsweetened applesauce and top with applesauce instead of syrup. Thawed frozen fruit also makes an excellent topping. Peanut or almond butters can make for a topping that adds protein as well.
All you do:
1. Combine flours, oats, sugar, baking powder and baking soda in a small bowl. Add milk, egg substitute and applesauce. Mix until lumps have broken.
2. Pour cup batter for each pancake onto a hot griddle coated with cooking spray. Cook pancakes until tops are covered with bubbles and edges look dry; flip and cook other side.
3. Top pancakes with desired toppings.
Nutrition information per serving:
Calories: 170, Carbohydrate: 34g, Sugar: 12g, Dietary Fiber: 2g, Total Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 10mg, Protein: 3g, Saturated Fat: 0g, Sodium: 390mg
The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.
Katie Wilhelmi is a registered dietitian at the New Ulm Hy-Vee.