7 Cholesterol-Lowering Breakfasts
What You Should Know
True, genetics play a huge role in your overall cholesterol level. But your genes don’t call all the shots. You can eat your way to lower cholesterol—science proves it. Items with monounsaturated fats (found in foods like avocados, olive oil and nut butters), fiber (score a healthy dose via oats, produce and seeds), plant sterols and whey protein are among the best cholesterol-lowering foods, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Find them and more body-boosting ingredients in the dietitian-recommended ideas ahead. Not only do these breakfast recipes help lower cholesterol, they’re also quick and easy to make—and delicious to boot.
- Related: 6 Make-Ahead Breakfast Ideas
Chocolate-Peanut Butter Oatmeal
This well-balanced, healthy breakfast recipe tastes like a chocolate-peanut butter cup.
- 1/2 cup rolled or quick oats made with 1 cup fat-free milk
- 1 tablespoon creamy natural peanut butter
- 2 teaspoons mini semisweet chocolate chips
Cholesterol-lowering breakfast nutrition facts: 365 calories, 13g fat (3g sat.), 5g fiber
Southwestern Egg Scramble
Don’t fear the yolk. The latest science says eating the whole egg instead of whites alone is just fine (in fact, that’s where most of the nutrients reside!), even if you’re seeking out cholesterol-lowering foods.
- 1 whole-grain tortilla stuffed with 1 large egg substitute scrambled with 1/4 cup each diced mushrooms and red pepper
- 2 tablespoons reduced-fat cheddar cheese
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
Cholesterol-lowering breakfast nutrition facts: 301 calories, 8g fat (3g sat.), 6g fiber
If you like Cinnamon Toast Crunch, then you’ll love this warmly-spiced and sweet toast. The whole power breakfast takes mere minutes to make, and is a lovely cholesterol-lowering partner to a fiber- and protein-rich yogurt parfait.
- 2 slices whole wheat bread spread with 1 tablespoon sterol-containing margarine (such as Promise Activ Light Spread) and sprinkled with 1 teaspoon sugar + 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt with 1/2 cup frozen red raspberries
Cholesterol-lowering breakfast nutrition facts: 356 calories, 9g fat (1.5g sat.), 6g fiber
If you think healthy pancakes are an oxymoron, think again. This fiber-rich breakfast is a brilliant option for a weekend treat. (For a splurge, try Jessica Seinfeld’s Lemon Ricotta Pancakes.)
- Two 4-inch whole wheat pancakes (prepared with mix such as Quaker Oatmeal Pancake Mix) made with 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts and 1/2 apple, grated
- 1 tablespoon reduced-calorie maple syrup.
Cholesterol-lowering breakfast nutrition facts: 340 calories, 7g fat (0g sat.), 7g fiber
DIY Raisin Bran
Cold cereal becomes something truly craveable when you add sweet, fiber-filled raisins and healthy fat-packed nuts. (P.S.: Here’s the truth about fat in your diet.)
- 1 cup bran flakes cereal (such as Kellogg's All-Bran Complete Wheat Flakes)
- 1/2 cup fat-free milk
- 2 tablespoons each raisins and slivered almonds
Cholesterol-lowering breakfast nutrition facts: 306 calories, 7g fat (5g sat.), 9g fiber
McDonald's Fruit & Walnut Salad
Dining on the road or in a hurry? Hit the drive-through for this healthy fast food cholesterol-lowering breakfast.
- Fruit & Walnut Salad
- Medium Iced Nonfat Latte
- 1reduced-fat string cheese from home
Cholesterol-lowering breakfast nutrition facts: 310 calories, 10.5g fat (3.5g sat.), 2g fiber
Protein Bar + Latte
For another quick and easy breakfast that lowers cholesterol, stock up on some clean ingredient protein bars and grab a latte to-go.
- RXBar Chocolate Sea Salt Whole Food Protein Bar (Buy It: RXBar Chocolate Sea Salt Whole Food Protein Bar, $18.89 for 12, amazon.com)
- Small Nonfat Starbucks Chai Tea Latte
Cholesterol-lowering breakfast nutrition facts: 360 calories, 9g fat (2g sat.), 5g fiber