Ways to Include Artichokes in Your Lipid-Lowering Diet

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Artichoke is a popular vegetable and is commonly used in many types of cooking, including Italian and Greek cuisine. This veggie is also quite versatile, and can be included in a variety of foods, including soups, salads, casseroles, side dishes, or served alone. The most common parts of an artichoke that are consumed include the heart and inner leaves.

A few studies suggest that artichokes may help to keep your cholesterol and triglycerides levels within a healthy range, although other studies have seen no lipid-lowering abilities from artichokes.

Nonetheless, artichokes are high in cholesterol-friendly nutrients, such as phytosterols, flavonoids, and fiber and low in fat – qualifying them as a good food to include in your healthy meal plan. These tips will show you how to include artichokes into your lipid-lowering diet.

Delicious Artichoke Breakfasts

There are many ways to incorporate artichokes into your most important meal of the day. They can be included in your favorite egg dishes or sliced and placed on a piece of whole wheat toast with other heart-healthy ingredients. When using artichokes in your breakfasts, you should make sure that you use other ingredients are heart-healthy, too. Nutritious toast toppers to add with your artichokes would include other veggies, foods high in omega-3s (such as salmon or walnuts), or fruit. If you use a spread on your toast, you should make sure that it is low in saturated fat and refined sugar.

If you are trying to cut calories on your egg dishes, you can use egg whites or an egg substitute.

Lunch Ideas with Artichokes

Artichokes can also be included in your favorite lunches – whether you are looking for a light salad or a hearty soup. To make your lunch even more healthy, include high-fiber foods with your artichokes such as whole grain rice, lentils, vegetables, or chickpeas.

If you are adding protein, you should select leaner foods – such as soy, chicken, or fish. You limit the amount of sour cream, dressing, or other high-fat toppings to your lunch, as these can also add saturated fat and calories. To cut calories, you can use a low-fat version of these toppings in your lunch.

Artichoke Dinner Recipes

Artichokes can be included in a variety of entrees – such as sandwiches, stews, casseroles, and pastas. Heart-healthy ways to prepare artichokes include roasting, baking, steaming or grilling. You can also lightly saute the heart of the artichoke with a small amount of olive oil or canola oil. Although tempting, frying the artichoke should be avoided, since may introduce unhealthy trans fats into your dish.

If you are using a high-fat protein, such as beef or pork in your meal, you should make sure you remove any visible pieces of fat before consuming. Alternatively, you can substitute it with a leaner protein. If you are watching your lipids, you should avoid using butter while preparing your dish, since this can add more fat to your meal.

Cheeses and creams – other potential sources of calories and fat – should also be limited. You can use low-fat versions of these ingredients of these foods to cut calories.

These recipes are healthy examples of artichoke-inspired entrees. 

Appetizers & Sides Containing Artichokes

Artichokes can be included in side dishes and as an appetizer, too. Artichokes can be sautéed and mixed with your favorite veggies, legumes or whole grains to result in a side dish that can be as equally filling as your main course. When creating your sides, you should limit the amount of butter you use. Additionally, you should avoid creaming your sides, as this can add more fat and calories to the side dish.

Do you love chips and dip as an appetizer? If so, you can roast the artichoke in the oven to yield a healthier version of a potato chip.