Hy-Vee Dietitian: Cholesterol Awareness Month

September is Cholesterol Awareness Month. Keeping your cholesterol low is important to maintaining good heart health. This is a good time to start thinking about what you are doing to keep your cholesterol at a healthy level. There are many things you can do to keep your cholesterol low, including eating the recommended 25-38 grams of fiber per day.

Do you have a hard time getting the recommended 25-38g of fiber per day? If so, stocking the pantry with high-fiber breakfast foods will give you a head start in fulfilling your fiber needs for the day. Choosing whole grains, fruits, vegetables and beans are a great way to increase your fiber intake at breakfast.

Here are three tasty high-fiber breakfast ideas the family will be sure to love:

• Fruit and Nutty Oatmeal. Make your favorite oatmeal with nonfat or low-fat milk. Then top it with a tablespoon of dried fruits and unsalted chopped nuts (or PB2). Dried fruits with the most fiber are apricots, dates, plums and raisins. Add chia or flax seeds for crunch and even more 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.

• Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes. Use a whole wheat pancake mix to increase fiber. You can purchase whole wheat pancake mix for quick breakfast. If you want to make your pancakes from scratch, substitute whole wheat flour in your favorite pancake recipe, or use the recipe below.

Hearty Oatmeal Pancakes
Serves: 2 (3 pancakes each)
Source: adapted from Hy-Vee Seasons Back to School 2013

¼ c. Hy-Vee flour
¼ c. whole wheat flour
½ c. Hy-Vee quick oats
1 tbsp. Hy-Vee sugar
1 tsp. Hy-Vee baking powder
½ tsp. Hy-Vee baking soda
½ 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 ¼ 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
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