Ways to Include Avocados in Your Lipid-Lowering Diet

Including Avocados in Your Diet

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 in studies to improve heart health and lower lipid levels. 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 lipids, 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 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 fat 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. You can also 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 or vegetables to make a delicious smoothie. Although it may be tempting, you should avoid adding creams, refined sugar, or syrups (such as chocolate syrup) to your smoothie – as this can increase your caloric intake. 

  • Delicious Salads

    Whether you are in the mood for a fruit 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. Avocados are a healthy alternative to using high fat, high sugar salad dressings, which should also be used sparingly if you are following a diet to lower your lipids.

    They can also replace other creamy, high-calorie ingredients that you would add to your salad, such as sour cream or cheese. 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. Because avocados have a mild taste, they can accompany a diverse range of foods. When preparing warm soups and stews, avocados – whether diced or creamed - should be added last, since prolonged heating can cause them to have a bitter taste. 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 and salsa.

    You should limit other high fat, calorie dense foods, such as sour cream and cheese if you are watching your heart health – this food can pack on pounds if you partake in them regularly. 

    Main Courses with Avocados

    Avocados can also be incorporated into 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 entree, you can swap red meat for leaner poultry, fish, or tofu. Here are some healthy ways to incorporate avocados into your main dishes:

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