Ways to Include Avocados in Your Lipid-Lowering Diet

Including Avocados in Your Diet
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Avocados are high in many types of nutrients - including heart-healthy fiber and phytosterols. Their creaminess is due to another ingredient, monounsaturated fatty acids, which have been shown to help keep your lipid levels within a healthy range.

Avocados aren’t a hard fruit to include in your diet. Their taste is very subtle and not too overpowering. However, if you are following a diet to lower your cholesterol and triglyceride levels, some of the ingredients that you add to your avocado-inspired meals could negate the health benefits that avocados offer.

These tips will show you some healthy ways to include avocados into your cholesterol-lowering meal plan.                                                      

Avocado-Rich Breakfasts

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and the fiber, protein, and unsaturated fats found in avocados may help keep your hunger at bay as you enter into the mid-morning munchies. Avocados can be sliced and added to many of your breakfast favorites - whether you are keeping it light or fixing up a hearty meal. Here are some ways you can include avocados in your breakfasts:

  • You can use avocados in lieu of butter as a spread since they can also be mashed and spread evenly onto your favorite whole-wheat bagel, toast, or muffin.
  • Because of their texture, avocados can mix easily with your favorite fruits, grains, or vegetables to make a delicious smoothie.
  • You can toss in some sliced avocados to a light egg dish. Because avocados can brown under heat, make sure that you add the avocados right before serving.

     

    Delicious Avocado Salads

    Whether you are in the mood for a protein-packed salad or a small bowl of traditional lettuce and tomato - avocados can be added to practically any type of salad. Avocados are not typically added until the salad is served since they can turn brown over time once they are sliced.

    To prevent this, you should add your avocados at the last minute and add a squirt of lemon juice. You should also feel free to add other healthy ingredients along with your avocados, such as chickpeas, nuts, vegetables, fruit, mushrooms, lentils, and whole grains.

    Avocados are a healthy alternative to using creamy salad dressings, which should also be used sparingly if you are following a diet to lower your lipids. You can add avocados sliced, diced or mashed and mixed with your favorite spices - including rosemary, thyme, and oregano.

    Although tempting, you should not add mountains of avocados to your salad. Avocados are high in “good” fats, but they are also higher in calories than other types of fruit - so do not go overboard if you are watching your weight.

    Soups and Dips

    Sliced avocados are a great way to add some texture to soups and dips.

    Soups and stews can be changed up to add many types of healthy ingredients - beans, veggies, legumes, mushrooms. When preparing warm soups and stews, avocados - whether diced or mashed - should be added last, since prolonged heating can cause them to turn brown and have a bitter taste.

    A healthy alternative to a high-calorie dollop of sour cream on top of your soup is a few sliced avocados.

    Avocados are also a good go-to food if you are craving a creamy dip to accompany your crudités. Although guacamole is a typical avocado-based dip, this fruit can be incorporated into other healthy dips, such as hummus, bean dip, and salsa. You should limit other high-fat, calorie-dense foods in your dips, such as sour cream and cheeses, if you are watching your heart health - these ingredients are high in saturated fat and can pack on the calories if too much is consumed.

    Main Courses with Avocados

    Avocados can also be incorporated into many of your entrees. You can layer avocado slices as a final touch to your favorite chicken or fish dish, or serve them on the side. If you are a recovering mayonnaise addict, mashing an avocado and spreading it on your sandwich, wrap, or ground turkey burger instead of mayo is a healthy alternative. Avocados can take the place of other creamy condiments - such as butter, cream, or dressings. To cut extra saturated fat and calories from your avocado-containing entree, you can swap red meat for leaner poultry, fish, or tofu. 

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