Ways to Include Walnuts in Your Lipid-Lowering Diet

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Walnuts have gained popularity as a healthy nut. Walnuts are high in vitamin E, protein, and vitamin B. They also contain high amounts of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids – both of which encourage heart health and help keep your lipid levels within a healthy range. Because walnuts are also high in calories if you consume a significant amount of them, it is recommended that you don’t go overboard when including walnuts in your cholesterol-lowering meal plan.

According to some studies, you only need about 1.5 ounces (which roughly equals to about a handful) of walnuts to see their heart-healthy benefits. Although walnuts make the perfect, quick snack that will help keep you full until your next meal comes along, these tips and recipes will also show you how you can incorporate walnuts into any part of your lipid-lowering diet.

Walnuts for Breakfast

Walnuts can be added to any type of breakfast with delicious results. An easy way to add a little bit of protein to your healthy breakfast would be to add a handful of chopped walnuts to your warm oatmeal or cold cereal. Many ingredients can work well with walnuts, but you should limit whole-fat dairy products used in your breakfast – as these products can increase your calorie and saturated fat intake for the meal.

Looking to add a little variety to your next meal?

Walnuts make an excellent garnishment to your favorite recipes, and can be paired with practically any dish to provide a little bit of heart variety. You can sprinkle plain walnuts on your chicken or fish dish, or incorporate crushed walnuts into many types of sauces. Some of these sauces may have a cream base which can be a source of added fat and calories.

So, if you are looking for a garnishment for your next cholesterol-friendly dish, you should limit the amount of cream-based sauces used on your dish.

Salads with Walnuts

Walnuts can also add a little variety to salads – whether it is a plain green salad or a tangy fruit salad. Instead of using buttery croutons, you can toss in a small amount of walnuts with other healthy ingredients – such as lean poultry, vegetables, fruit, egg whites, beans, or soy - to achieve the same crunchy effect. If you’re watching your lipids, just be careful of the amount of salad dressing that you add to your salad. To cut fat and calories, you can use low-fat versions of your favorite dressings and ask for the salad dressing to be placed off to the side of your salad.

Walnut-Inspired Side Dishes

Whether it’s rice, dressing, or a vegetable medley, a sprinkling of walnuts can offer a tasty – and cholesterol-friendly – twist on an otherwise boring side dish. To keep it healthy, you should use high-fiber, nutrient-rich ingredients in your sides. Veggies, fruit, and whole grain products are chock-full of fiber and phytosterols that can help keep your lipid levels in check. However, you should be aware of adding too much butter or oil to your sides, since these can sabotage an otherwise low-fat, low-calorie side dish.

These are some examples of sides containing walnuts:

Main Courses with Walnuts

Walnuts can even be added to your entrees. They can add a great texture to your healthy subs and sandwiches, as well as to pastas, stews, or your protein based dishes – including fish, chicken, and soy-based foods. 

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