Low Cholesterol Dessert Recipes From a Registered Dietitian

Are you interested in low cholesterol dessert recipes? Then you must be a health-conscious dessert lover! I bet that caught your attention, right? After all, who said ‘health-conscious’ and ‘dessert’ can’t be in the same sentence?

As a Registered Dietitian, I understand how important it is to maintain a balanced diet without sacrificing the joy of indulging in your favorite sweet treats. Yes, you heard it right; you don’t have to bid farewell to desserts just because you are watching your cholesterol levels.

Today, I’m excited to share with you a collection of delectable, heart-friendly, no cholesterol dessert recipes that will leave you feeling satisfied without compromising your health. Ready to embark on this guilt-free dessert journey? Let’s get started!

Top Takeaways

  • Diet plays a crucial role in cholesterol management by reducing saturated and trans fats, cholesterol intake, and excess sugar consumption.
  • Saturated fats (like butter) raise LDL cholesterol levels and contribute to artery blockages. Trans fats, found in processed foods, increase LDL cholesterol and lower HDL cholesterol, increasing the risk of heart disease.
  • Excessive sugar intake, especially added sugars, can lead to high triglyceride levels and heart disease.
  • Not all desserts are harmful; it’s about making mindful choices and practicing moderation.
  • Low cholesterol desserts can include ingredients like fruits, nuts, whole grains, dark chocolate, avocados, chia seeds, flaxseeds, oats, and beans for heart-healthy options.
  • Check out the list of 15 low cholesterol desserts!

Understanding Cholesterol and Heart Health

Ever heard of the terms ‘good’ cholesterol and ‘bad’ cholesterol? Well, they’re not just made up – they’re pretty important. HDL is our hero, the ‘good’ cholesterol, and LDL is the ‘bad’ guy.

Too much of this ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol can cause trouble, building up in our arteries and making heart disease more likely. For us adults, it’s generally recommended to keep our LDL levels low and HDL levels high to prevent a heart attack or stroke. To do that we have to reduce the amount of saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol we consume.

There is also something called triglycerides.  Triglycerides are a form of fat that’s increased with consumption of too much sugar and refined carbohydrates. Common desserts in North America that contain these nutrients are donuts, cake, cookies, or frozen yogurt to name a few.

How Diet Affects Cholesterol Levels

Now, what’s on our plate plays a huge role in this cholesterol story. Foods high in saturated and trans fats as well as cholesterol can raise our ‘bad’ cholesterol.

According to the American Heart Association, dietary cholesterol should be limited to under 300 milligrams per day for healthy adults. If you have high LDL (bad) cholesterol levels or other risk factors for heart disease, it is often recommended to keep dietary cholesterol under 200 milligrams per day.

However, it’s important to note that dietary guidelines have shifted somewhat in recent years, with a greater focus on the types of fats consumed rather than cholesterol intake. This is because saturated and trans fats have a much greater effect on raising blood cholesterol levels compared to dietary cholesterol itself.

Take a look at this low cholesterol meal plan, low cholesterol food list or plant based books and DASH diet cookbooks for more information.

Saturated Fats

Saturated fats (like butter) increase the level of total cholesterol by raising the level of LDL cholesterol, often referred to as “bad cholesterol”. LDL cholesterol contributes to fatty buildups in arteries (atherosclerosis), which can lead to heart disease and stroke. Saturated fats can also increase levels of HDL cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol, but not enough to offset the increase in LDL cholesterol.

Trans Fats

Trans fats increase total cholesterol levels by both raising LDL cholesterol and lowering HDL cholesterol. By increasing the “bad” cholesterol and decreasing the “good” cholesterol, trans fats contribute to the build-up of plaques in the arteries and increase the risk of heart disease more than any other type of fat. Trans fats are typically found in partially hydrogenated oils, a type of fat that’s been modified to be solid at room temperature. These are often found in processed foods like baked goods and snacks.

It’s important to note that while dietary cholesterol can affect your blood cholesterol levels, it has less of an impact than the total amount and type of fat you eat. A diet high in saturated and trans fats can lead to high cholesterol and other health problems, so it’s best to try to limit these in your diet.

Replacing them with healthier fats, like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in fish, nuts, and certain oils, can help lower your cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart disease. Check out this lentil muffin recipe that does just that!

The American Heart Association advises to aim for a dietary pattern that achieves 5-6% of calories from saturated fat and 0% of calories from trans fat and replaces these fats with healthier monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats when possible.

Sugar and Refined Carbohydrates

Sugar, specifically added sugars such as those found in sweets, desserts, and sugary beverages, can significantly contribute to high triglyceride levels. When you consume more sugar than your body can use for energy, it converts the excess into triglycerides, a type of fat, which are then stored in fat cells throughout your body.

As for the American Heart Association’s recommendation on sugar intake, they suggest that women should consume no more than 6 teaspoons (about 25 grams) of added sugar per day, and men should have no more than 9 teaspoons (about 36 grams) of added sugar per day. This guidance is in place to help reduce the risk of heart disease and other health conditions linked to excess sugar consumption.

It’s important to note that these recommendations are for “added sugars,” not those naturally occurring in fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. Added sugars can be found in many processed foods and beverages, including ones that don’t taste particularly sweet, such as muffins.

For instance, bran muffins or blueberry muffins may seem like healthier choices, but they can actually contain a significant amount of added sugar. In fact, some store-bought or bakery muffins can contain more sugar than a doughnut.

Desserts and Cholesterol: The Common Misconception

Okay, let’s clear something up. There’s this myth floating around that all desserts are like kryptonite for your heart – that they’re chock-full of cholesterol and inherently bad for you.

But hey, let’s not paint all desserts with the same brush! Sure, some are rich in unhealthy fats and sugars, but many can actually be a part of a heart-healthy diet.

The secret? It’s all about making mindful choices and practicing moderation.

For instance, a dessert that’s full of fruits, nuts, or whole grains? That’s a thumbs up from me! So, no need to banish all sweets from your life – it’s about finding balance and choosing wisely.

 After all, who said taking care of our hearts means saying goodbye to the joy of a tasty treat?

Ingredients to Look for in Low Cholesterol Desserts

These ingredients include foods that unclog arteries, lower blood pressure and are part of the Mediterranean, DASH diet, MIND diet, PAD diet, POTS diet and diet after stent as well.

Fruits

Fruits are naturally cholesterol-free, high in fiber, and loaded with antioxidants. Certain fruits like apples, grapes, strawberries, and citrus fruits contain pectin, a type of soluble fiber that helps lower LDL cholesterol. Smoothies are an excellent option for adding more fruits!

Nuts

Nuts are not only cholesterol-free but also contain sterols, which can block cholesterol from being absorbed into your bloodstream. They’re also high in fiber and healthy fats. Almonds, walnuts, and pistachios are particularly beneficial.

Whole Grains

Whole grains like oats, barley, and whole wheat are rich in soluble fiber, which can reduce the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream. They are a great base for many desserts.

Dark Chocolate

While moderation is key due to its high calorie content, dark chocolate is a dessert ingredient that can be heart-healthy. It contains flavonoids, antioxidants which can help lower LDL cholesterol. Remember, the darker the chocolate, the higher the concentration of healthy compounds.

Avocados

These are an excellent source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats that can help boost good cholesterol while lowering bad cholesterol. Avocados can be used in desserts like chocolate avocado pudding or creamy avocado smoothie.

Chia Seeds

These seeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, which can both contribute to maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. They can be used in a variety of desserts like chia pudding.

Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds are rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a plant-derived omega-3 fatty acid, and dietary fiber that can help lower cholesterol. Ground flaxseeds can be used in baking or making smoothies or flaxseed pudding.

Oats

Oats are a whole grain that is incredibly heart-healthy. They contain a specific type of soluble fiber known as beta-glucan, which has been shown to significantly reduce LDL cholesterol levels. In fact, consuming just 3 grams of beta-glucan a day (found in about one bowl of oatmeal) can reduce your cholesterol levels by up to 10-15%. Here are 15 oatmeal recipes to lower cholesterol.

Besides oatmeal, oats can be used in a variety of desserts like oatmeal smoothies, steel cut oat granola, or as a crumble topping for fruit bakes or baked oatmeal. The high fiber content also contributes to feelings of fullness, which can help control portion sizes and overall caloric intake.

Beans

Now, let’s talk about a superstar in the heart-healthy food lineup – beans! Beans, like chickpeas, are packed with soluble fiber – the kind that helps bind cholesterol in your digestive system, preventing it from being absorbed into your bloodstream. Plus, they’re rich in plant sterols, compounds that can block cholesterol absorption.

So, if you’re looking for a tasty, cholesterol-lowering food, beans are a fantastic choice. Whether in a savory dish or even in a sweet treat like smoothies with beans (sounds weird, I know, but trust me on this one) like this pea smoothie.  Beans are a versatile, nutritious, and delicious way to keep your cholesterol levels in check!

Image of Veronica Rouse with Free 7 day heart healthy meal plan freebie.

15 Low Cholesterol Desserts Recipes From A Registered Dietitian

Brown brownie baked oats sprinkled with chocolate chips in a 8 by 8 white dish on a white counter surrounded by a white and blue tea towel and chocolate chips and rolled oats.

Vegan oat brownies – The Heart Dietitian

This is one of my favorite low cholesterol dessert recipes. Its simple as you can make it ahead and full of heart healthy ingredients like oats, flaxseed and soymilk will lower cholesterol. And one serving contains only 1 mg of cholesterol!

A low cholesterol dessert of four orange popsicles with blueberries on a wood table.

Blueberry peach popsicle – Dancing through the rain

These Blueberry Peach Popsicles is one of the 15 fantastic low cholesterol desserts. It a delicious and fresh treat for the warm weather! With just two ingredients of fresh fruit and no added sugar, it fits perfectly into the DASH diet, and only has 0 mg of cholesterol!

Chocolate covered chickpeas in a gold rimmed bowl over a wood cutting board beside a white and brown serving utensil.

Chocolate covered chickpeas – The Heart Dietitian

The main ingredient chickpeas is a food that unclogs arteries, and avocado oil is a perfect substitute for olive oil making this recipe a cholesterol friendly dessert. This cholesterol free dessert recipe is a delicious twist on a classic snack that has 0 mg of cholesterol!

Low cholesterol desserts of 3 vegan crepes on a white plate topped with raspberries and blackberries.

Vegan crepes – Jackslobodian

No cholesterol in this healthy dessert for high cholesterol! These are the most easy Vegan Crepes I have ever made. These crepe desserts are good for high cholesterol and only use 2 ingredients.  They also take less than 5 minutes to prep! Instead of almond milk, I would substitute it for soy milk for further cholesterol lowering effect.

The top of the blueberry cheesecake overnight oats displayed in a mason jar beside oats and blueberries scattered on a wood board.

Blueberry cheesecake overnight oats – The Heart Dietitian

This berry cheesecake overnight oats is one of the best desserts for high cholesterol.  It is full of heart-healthy ingredients to unclog your arterieslower your blood pressure and feed your brain. I’ve added oats and fruit to this dish because they are naturally low in sodium and cholesterol, and rich in protein and fiber make this a heart health treat.

Low cholesterol dessert recipe of brown pudding in a white cup on a white plate topped with one red raspberry.

Chocolate avocado moose – Cinnamon and Kale  

Chocolate avocado mousse has a delicious indulgent creamy texture, and a rich chocolatey taste. Avocado is rich in soluble fiber that lowers cholesterol, and the addition of plant based ingredients help to keep this recipe low in cholesterol.

Turmeric energy balls displayed on a brown plate on a white countertop beside a brown mug of coffee.

Turmeric energy balls – The Heart Dietitian

This low cholesterol baking recipe is full of plant based protein as I add hemp seed, pea protein powder and cashew butter makes this snack Portfolio diet approved with just 8 mg of cholesterol per serving!

A baking sheet lined with parchment paper topped with low cholesterol desserts of chocolate balls topped with peanuts.

Chocolate covered date snickers – Begin with Balance

These snicker dates are the perfect easy treat and one of my client’s favorite cholesterol friendly desserts! They take 10 minutes to make and are packed with peanut butter goodness. The key ingredient I use in this recipe is dark chocolate, a cholesterol-friendly choice. No cholesterol in this vegetarian recipe!

Pecan pie smoothie in a clear glass on a white and brown checkered tablecloth, topped with pecans.

Pecan pie smoothie – The Heart Dietitian

If you are looking for a no cholesterol dessert, you need to try this sweet treat.  It has no added sugar and full of food from the DASH and Mediterranean diet that help lower cholesterol levels. I’m pretty generous with the pecans (or your nut of choice) for its heart healthy properties – potassium, magnesium, and monounsaturated fats.

Yogurt topped with cherries beside a white bowl of cherries on a gold tray beside gold silverware.

Yogurt and cherry red wine sauce – Healthy Recipes 101

This Yogurt and Cherry Red Wine Sauce is a dreamy dessert that drizzles simmered wine over frozen yogurt for a refreshing after-meal treat with only about 19 mg of cholesterol per serving. I use this as one of my go to low cholesterol dessert recipes when I have company – as it is fancy AND delicious.

Picture of rolled pumpkin protein balls on a blue plate, on a brown checkered tea towel surrounded by white flowers and a bowl in the background

Pumpkin protein balls – The Heart Dietitian

These pumpkin protein balls are a delicious low cholesterol dessert recipe which contain NO PROTEIN POWDER, and come together in 5 minutes.  Perfect if you are following a diet after a stent placement and looking for a sweet treat.

Six glass containers with a low cholesterol dessert of chocolate pudding topped with chopped chocolate bars.

4 ingredients high protein chocolate mousse – A Bite of Joy

With only 4 ingredients and 5 minutes to make, this is a “must try” on the low cholesterol desserts list.  It is a great choice for anyone looking to satisfy their sweet tooth while still maintaining a balanced diet in the midst of their busy schedule. It contains 20-25 grams of protein and 170 calories per serving, perfect for a low cholesterol dessert!

oat milk pudding in a white bowl surrounded by fresh strawberries, cocoa powder on a marble cutting board

Oat milk pudding – The Heart Dietitian

With only a few ingredients and the main food being oats that lower cholesterol is a perfect 0 mg of cholesterol recipe.  Dark chocolate and oat milk supply many antioxidants for optimal heart health and keep it classified in the no cholesterol desserts group.

Raspberry chocolate oat balls is a low cholesterol dessert. These balls are stacked on a white plate on a red and white checkered table cloth.

Raspberry chocolate bites – Haute and Healthy

1 mg of cholesterol and 2 grams of fiber in each ball makes this heart healthy homemade low cholesterol dessert.  I recommend sprinkling chia or hemp for extra LDL cholesterol lowering benefit.

A top down picture of cookie dough baked oats in a casserole dish. split into 4 squares.

These ooey gooey chocolate chip cookie baked oats are for those who love the classic flavors of a chocolate chip cookie but want them in a granola bar form. I make this recipe as a breakfast but can double as a cholesterol friendly dessert or even a granola bar (without added sugar!) Check out this post if you are wondering how long does it take to lower cholesterol with diet.

Fresh peach frozen yogurt – Valerie’s kitchen

Skip the frozen yogurt shop and make your own Peach Frozen Yogurt at home with just four ingredients! It’s fresh, super creamy, full of protein, part of the DASH diet and totally delicious.

Four rice kripsi squares on a wood plank topped with colored m and ms.

M&M Rice Krispies Treats  – The short order cook

Chewy gooey Rice Krispies Treats with M&Ms are easy to make & even easier to eat. Although they don’t have specific ingredients to lower cholesterol, this classic recipe is low in cholesterol at 11mg per serving.

Swiss meringue Macaroons – Natashas Home

These macaroon shells are delicious and can be filled with any sauce of your choice. This recipe contains 0 cholesterol using egg whites, and almond flour making it a no cholesterol dessert!

Looking for other low-cholesterol desserts? Check out this list of DASH desserts to lower your blood pressure.  

Or maybe you are interested in a 7 day low cholesterol diet plan, or a list of low cholesterol foods

If not, these natural drinks to lower cholesterol or juice recipes to lower cholesterol are sweet enough to also be considered a healthy dessert for high cholesterol.

Tips for Incorporating Low Cholesterol Desserts into Your Diet

  • Consider balance when incorporating low cholesterol desserts into your diet.
  • Pair them with other nutritious meals throughout the day.
  • Remember that small, gradual changes, like opting for less sugary treats, can make a big difference
  • Don’t forget the importance of portion control to keep your diet well-rounded and healthy.

Final Thoughts

And there you have it, my friends – 15 dietitian-approved, low cholesterol desserts that are as good for your heart as they are delightful to your palate.

I hope these low cholesterol dessert recipes inspire you to explore the world of healthy baking and prove that it’s possible to indulge in sweet treats while still looking out for your heart health.

Remember, small, mindful changes in our diet can lead to significant benefits for our heart and overall health. So go ahead, give these cholesterol free dessert recipes a try, and remember, balance is key!

 I’d love to hear your thoughts on these low cholesterol desserts! Please share your experiences, favorite recipes, or any questions you might have in the comment section below – your feedback enriches our community’s journey towards heart-healthy living.

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