Enjoying Australian Cuisine on a Lipid-Lowering Diet

salad
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Australian cuisine encompasses a blend of flavorful influences from other countries – including Thailand, India, United Kingdom, Morocco, Germany, and Vietnam. The result? Delicious dishes with an international flavor combined with local foods. There are a variety of healthy ingredients used in Australian cooking – whole grains, veggies, fruit, and lean meats. Spices are also plentiful and have been introduced by other regional cuisines.

As with any type of cooking, Australian cuisine may have some foods that may affect your cholesterol-lowering diet. These tips will show you how to include this amazing cuisine in your heart-healthy diet.

Savory Salads

The salads found in Australian cuisine are healthy and diverse. Although these salads may contain the traditional leafy greens, they also contain combinations other healthy ingredients – chickpeas, lentils, fruit, and nuts. Some salads may call for ingredients that could heap on calories to your dish. Salad dressings are the most common contributor to adding calories and fat to your meal. Australian cooking often employs the use of balsamic vinegar to the salad, but if your salad uses a creamy dressing, you should have the dressing placed on the side or use a low-fat or reduced-calorie dressing. Instead of sweet dressings that use refined sugars, you should use juices from freshly squeezed fruit instead.

 

Heart-Healthy Sides

For its sides and other courses, Australian cuisine draws from any different regions. The result is a healthy variety of side dishes with different flavors. For instance, European influences add spices such as garlic and basil to the dishes, whereas Asian influence adds flavorful spices like ginger, lemongrass, and turmeric.

Side dishes often include a combination of veggies – most commonly asparagus, beets, spinach, and cucumber. However, whole grains, legumes, and nuts are also included. All of these foods contain heart-healthy nutrients, such as fiber and phytosterols.

There are a variety of ways that these sides can be prepared - grilling, sauteing, and baking are just a few examples. However, some recipes may call for preparing your foods in butter or oil. These should be used sparingly, as this may cause an increase in your lipids if used over time - not to mention your waistline.

Australian-Inspired Entrees

Most Australian entrees contain some type of protein and include beef, poultry, fish, pork, and varieties of fish and crustaceans. Other unique cuts of meat are also included, such as lamb, kangaroo, and crocodile – all of which are slightly lower in saturated fat in comparison to beef and pork. These proteins can be prepared in a variety of healthy ways, including braising, roasting, and grilling.

Barbecuing is another method of preparation – and is very common in Australia. You should avoid any proteins that have been deep fried, as this could introduce trans fats into your diet. An example of this would be the popular Australian food, fish and chips, which consists of deep fried fish, such as shark, and potatoes. Additionally, any meats you use should be lean if you are watching your lipids. Lean proteins include chicken, turkey, crocodile, and fish. If you use fattier meats in your dish such as beef or pork, you should remove any visible pieces of fat from the meat before consuming.

Gravies and sauces are also sometimes included with the meal. Some of these sauces may have added refined sugars, which could add calories to your meal. You can substitute some of these sauces with sweet fruits, such as pineapple or mangoes. The gravies and creamy sauces can also pack on fat and calories to your dish, so if your meal has one of these added to the entree, you should request to have the gravy or sauce placed on the side – instead of directly on your dish.

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