Know your cholesterol

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Keeping your cholesterol at a healthy level will help lower your risk for heart disease, stroke and heart attack.

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance made by your body. Just like fat and carbohydrates, your body needs cholesterol to work well. Cholesterol is used by your body to make digestive acids, hormones and vitamin D.

But, after your body has used what it needs, the extra cholesterol that remains can start to build up on the walls of your arteries. As the cholesterol continues to build up, it causes the arteries to become hard and narrow, which can cause heart disease.

Eating foods that are high in saturated fats and trans fats can cause higher levels of cholesterol. It is recommended that people get their cholesterol checked every few years and take steps to improve HDL, or good cholesterol, levels while lowering LDL, or bad cholesterol. levels.

Try the following recipe courtesy of the Eating Well magazine at http://www.eatingwell.com where the recipes are approved by registered dietitians. For more information on Food for Thought programs, activities and recipes, check us out online at http://facebook.com/persongranvillefcs or email jbgrable@ncsu.edu

One-Pan Chicken & Asparagus Bake

Serves 4

2 (8oz.) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half crosswise

12 oz. baby Yukon Gold potatoes, halved lengthwise

8 oz. carrots, diagonally sliced into 1-inch pieces

3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

2 tsp ground coriander, divided

3/4 tsp salt, divided

1/2 tsp ground pepper, divided

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

2 Tbsp. chopped shallot

1 Tbsp. whole-grain Dijon mustard

2 tsp honey

1 lb. fresh asparagus, trimmed

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill

Lemon wedges

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place chicken on a clean work surface and cover with plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet, pound the chicken pieces to an even 1/2-inch thickness. Arrange on one half of a large rimmed baking sheet. Arrange potatoes and carrots in a single layer on the other half of the pan. Drizzle the chicken and vegetables with 1 tablespoon oil; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon coriander, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bake for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk lemon juice, shallot, mustard, honey and the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, 1 teaspoon coriander, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Remove the pan from the oven; switch the oven to broil. Stir the potato-carrot mixture; arrange asparagus in the center of the pan. Spoon the lemon juice-shallot mixture evenly over the chicken and vegetables. Broil until the chicken and vegetables are lightly browned, asparagus is tender-crisp and a thermometer inserted in the thickest portion of the chicken registers 165 degrees F, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven; sprinkle evenly with parsley and dill. Serve with lemon wedges.

Nutrition Information: 352 calories, 13.8g total fat, 2.3g saturated fat, 63mg cholesterol, 5.7g fiber, 27.6g protein

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