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American Heart Association Low-Fat, Low-Cholesterol Cookbook

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Now in its fourth edition, the American Heart Association Low-Fat, Low-Cholesterol Cookbook provides the most up-to-date information on heart health and nutrition—including the effects of saturated and trans fats and cholesterol. This classic cookbook offers more than 200 tasty, easy-to-prepare recipes, 50 of which are new. Here are just a ...

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American Heart Association Low-Fat, Low-Cholesterol Cookbook, 4th edition: Delicious Recipes to Help Lower Your Cholesterol

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Now in its fourth edition, the American Heart Association Low-Fat, Low-Cholesterol Cookbook provides the most up-to-date information on heart health and nutrition—including the effects of saturated and trans fats and cholesterol. This classic cookbook offers more than 200 tasty, easy-to-prepare recipes, 50 of which are new. Here are just a few of the tempting recipes you'll find inside:

Fresh Basil and Kalamata Hummus

Elegant Beef Tenderloin

Tilapia Tacos with Fresh Salsa

Garlic Chicken Fillets in Balsamic Vinegar

Peppery Beef with Blue Cheese Sauge

That Coconut Curry with Vegetables

Sweet Potatoes in Creamy Cinnamon Sauce

Pumpkin-Pie Coffeecake

Streusel-Topped Blueberry Bars

Key Lime Tart with Tropical Fruit

The perfect companion for today's healthy cook, this indispensable collection of recipes will help you serve food that's not only pleasing to your palate but also good for your heart. With the American Heart Association Low-Fat, Low-Cholesterol Cookbook, you can eat deliciously and nutritiously.

American Heart Association is the nation's premier authority on heart health. Its bestselling library of cookbooks and heart-health books includes:

American Heart Association Healthy Family Meals; American Heart Association Low-Salt Cookbook, 3rd edition; The New American Heart Association Cookbook, 7th edition; American Heart Association Complete Guide to Women's Heart Health; and American Heart Association No-Fad Diet

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Those in the know have been counting on American Heart Association books for years; the wide variety of recipes gets the whole family on track for heart-smart eating.”
Good Housekeeping
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307587558
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/6/2010
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 101,575
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

The American Heart Association is the nation’s premier authority on heart health and stroke, with a bestselling library of cookbooks and health guides. The Association is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, with affiliates that serve the entire United States. Visit the website at

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Read an Excerpt

Many Americans are lowering their cholesterol level, quitting smoking, watching their blood pressure, and becoming more active.

To us at the American Heart Association, this is gratifying because it means that many people are reducing their risk of heart attack and stroke. It means more Americans will have healthy hearts that last a lifetime.

Do you have high blood cholesterol? Has your doctor recommended that you eat less fat? If so, you’ve come to the right place. This new AHA Low-Fat, Low-Cholesterol Cookbook has it all. The recipes on these pages are simply scrumptious. Consider the bliss of sinking your teeth into Crab Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce, Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Ricotta and Goat Cheese, and Mango Brûlée with Pine Nuts. You’ll find they can all be part of healthful, low-fat eating.

You may want to start with our handy assessment tool designed to help you determine how much fat you’re eating now (see “First, Look at the Way You’re Eating Now,” on page 9). Then you can easily see the changes you’ll want to make so you can follow your doctor’s advice. You’ll also discover what foods to eat; how to shop for low-fat, low-cholesterol foods; and how to cook them in the heart-healthiest way. Plus, you’ll find encouragement for your weight-loss efforts. We even have information on how to eat out in all kinds of restaurants, have fun, and still choose dishes that will do your heart good.

In the appendixes, you’ll learn how your body handles cholesterol. You’ll also see why a low-saturated-fat, low-cholesterol way of eating is so important. Dr. Scott M. Grundy, one of the foremost lipid specialists in this country and one of the AHA’s most eminent science volunteers, has updated the chapter on cholesterol-lowering drugs with the latest scientific knowledge. Some of you won’t be able to reduce your cholesterol to a safe level with diet alone. For you, this section will be vital.

If you’re using this cookbook as an aid in developing a new help-your-heart eating plan, take a look at the Step I and Step II Diets on pages 12 through 14. On the other hand, if you just want to add to your repertoire of low-fat, low-cholesterol recipes, turn to page 31.

Whatever your goal, we hope this cookbook will give you many hours of delicious eating and many more years with a healthy heart.


Chances are you bought this cookbook because your doctor said you need to lower your cholesterol level. We think that’s good advice. Why? Because research has shown clearly that too much cholesterol in your blood can lead to heart disease, America’s number-one killer. Despite all our advances in preventing and treating heart disease, it still claims more than 950,000 lives a year.

The fact is, about 13.7 million people currently living in the United States have coronary heart disease and almost 4 million have had a stroke. Millions more are at risk of heart attack and stroke and don’t even know it. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), slightly more than 77 percent of all middle-aged American men are at increased risk of dying from heart disease.

Now for the good news: You can cut your risk of heart disease dramatically by reducing your blood cholesterol level. You can do that by cutting down on saturated fat* and cholesterol in your diet. In fact, physicians and scientists say that the best ways to improve your heart health are to lower your cholesterol level and quit smoking.

In 1985, Oxford University’s Richard Peto said, “We know two things about how to prevent death in middle age: smoking and cholesterol. Each of those two things is responsible for about one third of all deaths in middle age.”

* “Saturated fat” is popular shorthand for the more accurate term “saturated fatty acids.” That’s because what we call “saturated fat” is actually made up of lots of different varieties of saturated fatty acids. In fact, this is true for all fats, including polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. For easier reading, we’ll generally use the shorthand versions of these terms.


Countless scientific studies have shown that high blood cholesterol plays a major role in heart disease. In fact, a number of large clinical trials show that high blood cholesterol is a direct cause of heart attack. For example, one NHLBI study included 3,800 men with high cholesterol. Half were given a cholesterol-lowering drug called cholestyramine, and the other half were given a placebo. The men receiving the cholestyramine had significantly lower cholesterol levels and fewer heart attacks than the men receiving placebos. These results proved that lowering blood cholesterol reduces both the risk of having a heart attack and the risk of dying from an attack. Other clinical trials using cholesterol-lowering drugs showed similar results. The results of more-recent trials show that reducing blood cholesterol can slow the formation of atherosclerosis in both men and women and can even bring about atherosclerosis regression in some people.

It’s not just drug therapy that shows these results. A number of clinical trials have involved cholesterol-lowering diets. Several types of study have given us a large body of evidence that shows a powerful link between diet and heart disease. The evidence also proves beyond a doubt that to a large extent diet determines a person’s blood cholesterol level. One study in Oslo, Norway, revealed that changing the diet to reduce blood cholesterol can definitely reduce the risk of heart attack. Similar trials reported from Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and Helsinki, Finland, agreed.

When the experts averaged the results of all these clinical trials, they were able to estimate how much lowering blood cholesterol will reduce the risk of heart attack. As a general rule, if you reduce your total cholesterol level by 1 percent, you reduce your heart attack risk by 2 percent. This means that if you reduced your blood cholesterol from 250 to 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl), for example, you’d reduce your heart attack risk by 40 percent. That’s quite a payoff. It’s also why we wrote this cookbook: to help you reduce your cholesterol level—and one of your risks for heart attack—while enjoying delectable low-fat, low-cholesterol dishes.


Your physician has probably measured your total blood cholesterol level along with your high-density lipoprotein (HDL) level. (HDLs are often called “good” cholesterol, the kind that’s not likely to be deposited in your arteries and cause atherosclerosis.) If so, these blood cholesterol levels will show how you fit into one of the classifications on the following chart. This chart helps your doctor identify your risk of heart disease. In calculating your risk, he or she will also take into account your physical and medical history, as well as the presence of other risk factors (see appendix H, page 382).


Cholesterol (mg/dl)Classification

Total less than 200Desirable

Total 200 to 239Borderline high risk

Total above 239High risk

HDL less than 35High risk

If You’re Under 200

As you can see on the chart above, if your total cholesterol level is less than 200 and your HDL level is 35 or more, high blood cholesterol is not a problem for you right now. Continue to eat a healthful diet that’s low in fat, be physically active, and have your cholesterol level checked once every five years. Of course, if you have other major risk factors, such as smoking or high blood pressure, you’re still at risk for heart disease and you’ll want to follow the advice in this book. Even if you’re totally healthy now, your best bet is to follow prudent dietary recommendations. The information in this cookbook can help you keep your cholesterol level—along with your risk of heart disease—low.

If You’re 200 to 239

If your cholesterol level is between 200 and 239, you’re in a borderline zone. You face twice the risk of heart attack as people whose levels are well below 200. Don’t feel alone: About 31 percent of American adults fall into this category. You shouldn’t ignore this borderline status, especially if you have other risk factors. Start eating to lower your blood cholesterol using the Step I Diet, and have your cholesterol level checked again in a few months.

If You’re 240 or Higher

Finally, if your cholesterol level is 240 or higher, you could be at high risk of a heart attack. This is especially true if your HDL level is less than 35 mg/dl. Talk to your doctor, because it’s likely you’ll need further tests to determine the best treatment plan.

No matter what your classification, this cookbook can help you. These appetizing recipes were created to make low-fat, low-cholesterol eating a blissful experience and, in the process, protect you against America’s number one killer, heart disease.


Most cases of high blood cholesterol are caused by eating high-saturated-fat, high-cholesterol foods. It stands to reason, therefore, that most cases can be reversed by eating foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Usually, this is true. However, some people can’t reduce their cholesterol level to below 200 without medication. (See “Drugs: When Diet Alone Won’t Work,” page 375, then talk with your doctor.)

If you’ve had a heart attack or have other major risk factors, lowering your cholesterol level to below 200 is extremely important. If you have heart disease, it’s also important to reduce your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the type that carries harmful cholesterol into your artery walls. You want to reduce your LDL level to below 100 mg/dl. If you don’t have heart disease or risk factors, reduce it to below 130 mg/dl. (For more information about lipoproteins and how your body handles cholesterol, see page 371.)

If you have no other risk factors and haven’t had a heart attack, you should aim—at the very least—to reduce your cholesterol level to below 240 and your LDL cholesterol level to below 160. Again, the closer you can come to a cholesterol level under 200, the better.

You may be wondering how much you’ll have to change your diet to achieve these goals. That depends on a number of things. For many people, some relatively minor changes can reduce their cholesterol level significantly. Others need to make more extensive changes. The Step I and Step II Diets outlined beginning on page 9 help meet the needs of each of these groups. The Step I Diet will work for many people. It’s recommended for everyone over the age of two. If you’ve had a heart attack or you need an extra boost to reach your goals, the Step II Diet can help you get there.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi

Preface vii

Fats, Cholesterol, and Heart Health 1

Healthy Food, Healthy Heart 13

About the Recipes 23


Appetizers and Snacks 28

Soups 48

Salads and Dressings 66

Seafood 96

Poultry 134

Meats 174

Vegetarian Entrées 208

Vegetables and Side Dishes 246

Breads and Breakfast Dishes 276

Beverages 294

Desserts 300


A Healthy Shopping Strategies 333

B Healthy Cooking Strategies 337

C Healthy Dining Out Strategies 343

D The Science Behind the Recommendations 346

E Risk Factors for Heart Disease and Stroke 349

F For More Information from the American Heart Association 353

Index 355

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 16 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2006

    healthy food prep made easy!

    My husband's recent heart attack turned dinnertime into a challenge for me. I love to cook, but now it had to be boring old bland stuff, right? Wrong! This cookbook gives you the recipes for one delicious dish after another. It's a staple now in our house, right up there next to the salmon, blueberries, oats and broccoli.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2013

    This is my absolute favorite cookbook. I bought this when I firs

    This is my absolute favorite cookbook. I bought this when I first found out I have high cholesterol, and it is now my go-to. The portions are generous and the food is actually tasty- not just "this tastes good for something healthy." Plus, all the recipes I have made so far take less than half an hour, which makes it possible to have a delicious, healthy dinner even on a weeknight.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Life-Changing Cooking Made Easy

    Thanks to these recipes from the American Heart Association, changing your diet to be low-fat AND low-cholesterol couldn't be any simpler! Directions are clearly written, often including cook's tips for a variation and/or explanation. The cookbook provides in-depth information, written in everyday language, regarding such topics as healthy diets, cholesterol, and stocking a heart-healthy pantry. These recipes prove that eating healthy does NOT mean eating bland and boring food. Thank you AHA for showing us how simple life-changing cooking can be.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 10, 2009

    Heart healthy information for America

    This book contains information that everyone can use. America is experiencing an epidemic of rotubund proportions. This book helps educate people on how to reduce heart disease and diabetes. It is a useful book as a whole. However, the amount of daily protein that is recommended in the average human diet is, in my opion, a little low. If an athlete uses this book they must adhere to a diet that is more specific for highly active bodies. In all, it is a good book. It has been useful in showing me how to lower my sodium and cholesterol levels; something every American should be doing. I feel better already!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2005

    This Book was Yummy

    I loved this book! Back in May I made a meal for my in laws wedding anniversary. It was entire meal including desert and through out the entire thing I recieved so many compliments, like 'I didn't know you knew how to cook so well.' It was simple with this book!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2013

    Excellent book but no pictures

    The recipes are great but I was disappointed that there are no pictures! Zucchini Bread is fantastic & only 1 g. of fat!!! Lots of recipes that are tasty but low in fat!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2012

    Excellent Help from the AHA

    Low-Fat, Low Cholesterol was more help to me than the web sites I read online. It separates cholesterol issues from sodium and sugar issues. I especially appreciate the explanation of LDL and HDL fats. I previously had not understood that saturated fats were as bad ad cholesterol. I enjoy studying the book and using the recipes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2003

    the cookbook is ok

    when i got the cookbook, i was disappointed because of the pages being papery instead of glossy, and all the photos are all together in the middle of the book. The recipes are common everyday ones , like mexican food, chinese, salads, sandwiches, roast beef. other than the pages getting easily damage, while cooking, it's a good cookbook.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted August 17, 2010

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