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Tips for Including Poultry in Your Cholesterol-Lowering Diet

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Updated October 25, 2013

Tips for Including Poultry in Your Cholesterol-Lowering Diet

Poultry can be included in a low cholesterol diet.

Dmitry Gool, istockphoto

Poultry, such as chicken or turkey, can make excellent additions as lean meats to your cholesterol-lowering diet. These meats are not only lower in fat than other animal meats, they are also very versatile and can be paired with many types of different side dishes. There are many ways to you can incorporate poultry into your low fat meal plans -- whether you are looking to use meat as your main course or just as a quick nosh of protein for your mid-day snack. Next time you are cooking with poultry, try some of these tips for a delicious -- and healthy -- dish:

  • Select the leanest cuts of poultry. Using leaner cuts of poultry will lower the amount of saturated fat that you introduce into your diet. Leaner cuts would include the breast meat from chicken and turkeys. Although other cuts of meat, such as the leg or thigh, or more flavorful, they can also include more saturated fat into your meal. Because of this, these cuts should be used sparingly if you are watching your cholesterol.
  • Trim each cut. Once you select the cuts of poultry you would like to cook with, remove any excess fat you see from the meat. This would also include the layer of skin that lies on the outermost surface of the poultry, which also contains fat. By cutting these excess pieces off of the chicken you are cooking, you will also cut unnecessary fat that could be added to your meal. This also goes for deli cuts of poultry, which may also contain fat.
  • Watch your ground meats. Ground turkey and chicken make terrific, low-fat alternatives to ground beef -- especially if you are craving certain foods like a classic meatloaf or hamburger. Unfortunately, these, too, can introduce excess fat into your diet. When looking for ground poultry, look for the packages to state that they are "lean" or "low fat". Additionally, you can also look for packages that state that they contain only breast meat, which is the cut of poultry that is lowest in saturated fat.
  • Best methods to cook your poultry. When preparing poultry for your meals, you should also pay attention to how you cook your cuts of meat – in addition to the types of poultry pieces you select. Baking, roasting, and sautéing your poultry would be the healthiest ways of cooking your poultry pieces. Frying, on the other hand, can introduce saturated oils that can help increase your cholesterol levels. If you are someone that likes to eat fried poultry every once in a while, a more cholesterol-friendly alternative would be to coat the chicken or turkey pieces with whole grain breadcrumbs – this would allow you to enjoy the crunchiness without introducing excess fat.
  • Watch what you add to your poultry. There are many ways you can spice up your poultry, ranging from adding various herbs to marinating in a light vinaigrette. When cooking, you should avoid cooking and marinating your poultry in oils containing saturated fat (such as coconut oil), lard, or butter. However, you can add a variety of spices to your poultry, all of which are low in fat. Additionally, you can also cook your poultry in a olive oil, canola oil, or some other heart-healthy, unsaturated fat. If you are looking to add even more flavor to your poultry, mix your cuts with your veggies or other ingredients while sautéing.

Looking for some additional healthy tips? Try some of these delicious, healthy recipes containing poultry:

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