The doctor always checks it; your nutritionist asks you about it; even the personal trainer at the gym may have a thing or two to say about it — we’re talking about cholesterol.

This hotly debated and controversial topic has been going through changes lately in the health world. It’s all about the numbers. Many health professionals are questioning the scale that we rank cholesterol as good, moderate, or bad. Some are saying that the numbers are outdated, while others stick hard and fast to the old school ruling.

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Cholesterol, is a waxy substance that is an essential part of your body that is used to build cells. It comes from two places: your liver makes cholesterol and you also get it from animal-based foods such as meat, poultry, and full-fat dairy. The problem arises when you consume too much animal-based cholesterol, which is generally also rich in high saturated and trans fats. These unhealthy fats “cause your liver to make more cholesterol than it otherwise would,” causing your cholesterol levels to rise to an unhealthy level. While most plant-based foods are free of cholesterol, there are certain plant-based derived products that can trigger the liver to create more cholesterol such as “palm oil, palm kernel oil, and coconut oil.”

In order to maintain a healthy cholesterol level or lower a currently high number, look to incorporating low or zero cholesterol foods that are also nutrient-dense. Some great plant-based foods that are super healthy for cholesterol include lutein-rich spinach known to help avoid clogged arteries, beta-glucan fiber-rich oats to cleanse toxins, omega-3-rich inflammation-fighting walnuts, nutrient-dense and fiber-filled beans, LDL reducing beta-sitosterols filled avocado, healthy fat-filled seeds, antioxidant-packed berries, sulfur-rich raw cacao, and blood clot preventing garlic.

We put together 15 recipes from the Food Monster App that can be helpful in reducing cholesterol!

1. Superpower Smoothie BowlSuperpower Smoothie Bowl

Source: Superpower Smoothie Bowl

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This Superpower Smoothie Bowl by Amy Height packs a triple punch with cholesterol-friendly spinach, antioxidant-rich and adaptogenic goji berries, and a combo of inflammation-fighting raw cacao nibs and turmeric powder for garnish.

2. Peanut Butter Overnight Oats

Source: Peanut Butter Overnight Oats

Overnight oats are one of the easiest and tastiest recipes to follow. Plus, you can get as creative as you like with flavors and ingredients! This Peanut Butter Overnight Oats by Hayley Canning offers a helping of cholesterol-reducing oats, along with with healthy fat-filled peanut butter, protein-rich almond milk, potassium and magnesium filled banana, and an optional splash of maple syrup to flavor!

3. Walnut Taco MeatMeatless walnut taco meat

Source: Walnut Taco Meat

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This Walnut Taco Meat by Christa Clark is a staple in any vegan kitchen! Create your favorite tacos, burritos, or meatless patties with this cholesterol-fighting walnut crumble packed with rich olive oil, cholesterol-friendly tamari or soy sauce, and a broad palate of spices such as cayenne, salt, chili powder, cumin, and oregano.

4. ‘Lamb’ BurgerMeatless 'lamb' burger

Source: ‘Lamb’ Burger

While beans make the cholesterol-friendly ingredient list, not far behind are lentils. These fiber-rich legumes are not only diverse but provide a cholesterol-free dose of stomach filling nutrients. This ‘Lamb’ Burger by Molly Patrick offers a double whammy with both lentils and oats!

5. Guacamole With Sprouts Guacamole with sprouts

Source: Guacamole With Sprouts

Avocado, avocado, avocado! These wonderful plant-based staples are great for so many recipes, such as this traditional Guacamole With Sprouts by Simona Malerba. Along with powerful cholesterol-fighting properties of avocado, this recipe also uses broccoli sprouts that are rich in sulforaphane, which can prevent and protect cells from damage leading to healthier aging, better cardiovascular health, improved gut health, and they have even been found to fight cancer!

6. Vanilla Bean Chia Pudding Vegan vanilla bean chia pudding

Source: Vanilla Bean Chia Pudding

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Second to overnight oats, chia pudding is a super easy, nutritious, and tasty on-the-go breakfast alternative! This Vanilla Bean Chia Pudding by Natalie Yonan offers a helping of cholesterol-lowering chia seeds, along with healthy fat-filled pistachios that also happen to be a natural estrogen-booster.

7. Immune Boosting Orange Raspberry SmoothieImmune Boosting Orange Raspberry Smoothie

Source: Immune Boosting Orange Raspberry Smoothie

This Immune Boosting Orange Raspberry Smoothie by Kat Condon not only works to strengthen your immune system with natural agents such as turmeric, ginger, and antioxidant-rich bell pepper, but this smoothie also happens to incorporate many cholesterol-reducing agents such as raspberries, hemp seeds, and almond milk.

8. Cacao-Rubbed Cabbage with Citrus SalsaCacao-Rubbed Cabbage with Citrus Salsa

Source: Cacao-Rubbed Cabbage with Citrus Salsa

Eating your cruciferous greens is an important part of a healthy diet, including gut health-boosting cabbage! This Cacao-Rubbed Cabbage with Citrus Salsa by Quelcy Kogel will provide your daily dose of cabbage, along with cholesterol-friendly raw cacao, avocado oil, and extra-virgin olive oil.

9. Raw Garlic ButterRaw Garlic Butter

Source: Raw Garlic Butter

Looking for a butter substitute with a little something special? This Raw Garlic Butter by Nikki Stokes is definitely worth a try! It’s rich in cholesterol-reducing garlic, along with fresh avocado and metabolism friendly coconut oil.

10. Almond CocotellaVegan almond Nutella with coconut oil

Source: Almond Cocotella

This Almond Cocotella by Judy Moosmueller is super simple with only five easy to source ingredients including cholesterol-friendly almonds and raw cacao and healthy fat-filled coconut oil. Top it off with a pinch of salt and a splash of maple syrup!

11. Oat and Seed BreadVegan Oat and Seed Bread

Source: Oat and Seed Bread

If overnight oats and chia pudding don’t quite cut it for you in the morning, try adding a bit of healthy, nutrient-dense, cholesterol-fighting bread to the mix! This Oat and Seed Bread by Ella Suihko is incredibly fiber-rich with oats, flaxseed, and chia seed, plus it packs a powerful healthy fat-punch with sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, psyllium husks, and extra-virgin olive oil.

12. Whole Grain Blueberry PancakesVegan Whole Grain Blueberry Pancakes

Source: Whole Grain Blueberry Pancakes

This Whole Grain Blueberry Pancakes recipe by Christina Bedetta not only includes a helping of blueberries — the champion antioxidant powerhouse berry — but Bedetta also uses heart-healthy buckwheat flour and gluten-free oat flour for the pancakes, with cholesterol-fighting flaxseed and healthy fat-filled coconut oil

13. Chocolate Pretzel Quinoa BarsVegan Chocolate Pretzel Quinoa Bars 

Source: Chocolate Pretzel Quinoa Bars

These Chocolate Pretzel Quinoa Bars by Caroline Doucet are the perfect on-the-go snack to keep in your backpack or at your work desk. They incorporate a handful of plant-based ingredients that are also choelsterol-friendly including raw cacao, quinoa, oats, and sunflower seed butter.

14. Raspberry Chia JamRaspberry chia jam

Source: Raspberry Chia Jam

While most jam recipes call for copious amounts of sugar, this Raspberry Chia Jam by Fabio Gallo relies on the natural sweetness of lemon, raspberries, and a splash of maple syrup, making this not only a cholesterol-friendly jam option — with raspberries and chia seeds — but also a lower sugar alternative.

15. Avocado Tofu Chocolate MousseAvocado Tofu Chocolate Mousse

Source: Avocado Tofu Chocolate Mousse

Avocado isn’t just great on toast or in guacamole, but it’s also a wonderful ingredient to use in plant-based, low-sugar desserts! This Avocado Tofu Chocolate Mousse recipe by Diane Smith not only harnesses the cholesterol-reducing powers of avocado, raspberries, and raw cacao, but it’s also protein-rich with tofu and almond milk.

We also highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 15,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!

For more Vegan Food, Health, Recipe, Animal, and Life content published daily, don’t forget to subscribe to the One Green Planet Newsletter!

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