Smoothies to Reduce Cholesterol

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Smoothies are an easy food choice for breakfast or snacks. Use a blender or food processor to mix the ingredients for a creamy, rich drink with lots of nutrition. Most smoothies are made from yogurt mixed with fruit, so they have protein from the yogurt, and vitamins, minerals and fiber from the fruit. Fiber is an ingredient that helps stimulate digestion and can lower the risk of heart disease, according to Dr. Steven G. Pratt, author of “SuperFoods HealthStyle.”

Fruit Smoothie

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Fruit is a source of soluble fiber, which can mix with water. Soluble fiber is important in helping to lower total cholesterol and reduce your risk of heat disease.

Blend 4 ice cubes with 1 cup of plain non-fat yogurt, six strawberries, 1 cup of canned crushed pineapple and one banana. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract for extra flavor. The recipe makes three 1-cup servings with 121 calories per serving, less than 1 gram of fat and 1 milligram of total cholesterol, 2 grams of total fiber, 6 grams of protein and 24 grams of carbohydrates.

Bio-Yogurt Smoothie

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According to Michael Murray, author of the "Encyclopedia of Healing Foods," a study of older adults who ate 1 cup of bio-yogurt per day prevented an increase in total levels of low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, cholesterol.

Use low-fat bio-yogurt or soy yogurt with berries to make a smoothie. Bio-yogurt has a live bacteria culture that helps your body break down lactose. Blend 1 1/2 cups of strawberries, 1 1/2 cups of raspberries and 1 cup low-fat bio-yogurt until smooth and serve immediately. Wash the berries and remove the hulls from the strawberries before blending.

Tofu Smoothie

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Tofu or bean curd is made from coagulated soy milk where the liquid is discarded and the solids are pressed into a soft, regular or firm cake. Tofu has the health benefit of providing the same protection against cancer and heart disease as soybeans, according to Murray. The author says that a study where tofu was substituted for cheese showed results in lowering cholesterol levels for men and women.

Blend soft tofu, 1/2 cup of blueberries, one banana and 1 tablespoon of ground flax meal for a quick breakfast or a dessert. No specific amount of tofu is recommended; experiment to see how tofu works in your own preparations.