Muffins are usually high-fat snacks. Since high fat contributes to raising cholesterol levels, muffins are usually avoided by people who struggle with elevated cholesterol. The biggest contributors to "bad" cholesterol are animal products. If you can make a muffin with reduced animal products, you will begin to improve your muffin's health benefits. Add oatmeal to your muffin mix and you may once again enjoy this forbidden snack.
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Your body makes approximately 75 percent of your cholesterol. The other 25 percent you take in when you eat animal products. Your body needs good cholesterol to protect you from heart attacks and to transport excess cholesterol to your liver for removal. Bad cholesterol is also found in your body and can build up on the walls of your arteries and veins, inhibiting blood flow. This could lead to a heart attack or stroke. Your cholesterol numbers can be determined through a simple blood test.
If your doctor tells you your cholesterol is high, your blood test results have returned with a number over 240. You will be given recommendations to lower this level. One of those will be reducing your intake of animal products. Muffins can be made with butter and eggs, two animal products that should be substituted with lower cholesterol choices.
The butter, or oil, in muffins gives them that moist texture. The American Heart Association recommends using applesauce instead of butter in your muffin recipe. You can do this at a 1:1 ratio. If your recipe requires 1/4 cup of butter, use 1/4 cup of applesauce. The yolk of an egg contains the cholesterol, so use only egg whites in your muffins to reduce the cholesterol levels. You can substitute two egg whites for one whole egg. If these ratios change the taste, adjust them to your liking.
Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago, Illinois, studied cholesterol response to diets containing oat fiber. Their four week experiment showed that oatmeal helps to lower cholesterol levels. Oatmeal can easily be added to your muffin mix so you can begin lowering your cholesterol to a healthy range.
Many people like to add butter to the top of their muffins. Avoid this additional use of the animal product to keep your muffin a healthy choice. Muffins do contain calories, and excess calories can lead to excess weight, so eat them in moderation. Always speak with your doctor regarding the best ways for you to lower your cholesterol.