8 Heart-Healthy Cooking Tips from Celebrity Chefs

Eating foods that are good for your heart doesn't have to be a punishment. Some of America's top celebrity chefs are cutting down on fat, cholesterol and salt without skimping on flavor and fun. Here are some of their best tips on how to make your diet more heart-friendly.

Swap Nonfat Greek Yogurt for Sour Cream

Using nonfat Greek yogurt in place of sour cream can slash calories, triple the protein and double the calcium, says Ellie Krieger, a registered dietitian and host of the Food Network's Healthy Appetite.

Quick tip: Use Greek yogurt to top chili, tacos and just about anything else where you'd normally use sour cream. You can also try these creative Greek yogurt recipes.

More: Why Yogurt and These 8 Foods Fire Up the Immune System

Say Bye to Butter With Canola Oil

Krieger also suggests eliminating some of the butter in desserts and replacing it with heart-healthy canola oil, which is rich in monounsaturated fat. The neutral taste lets the remaining butter flavor shine through while slashing fat.

Quick tip: Heart-healthy eaters should skip traditional brownies, which can pack more than half a tablespoon of butter per brownie. If you're craving chocolate, try one of these 27 healthy chocolate recipes instead.

More: Gluten-Free Peanut Butter, Banana and Dark Chocolate Brownie Recipe

Learn to Love Leaner Meats

Choosing lean cuts of meat will help zap the fat from your diet. Opt for round, sirloin, chuck or loin, and extra-lean hamburger. Even better, add bulk and boost nutrition content with meatless ingredients like mushrooms, chopped olives, red peppers or other coarsely chopped veggies.

Quick tip: If you simply can't resist a traditional burger in all its juicy glory, make sure the meat is at least 90 percent lean, says Krieger. Try one of these healthy burger recipes.

More: 8 Ways to Cook a Healthier Burger

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