Ways to Include Bulgur in Your Low Fat Diet

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Seqoya, istockphoto

Bulgur is a whole grain commonly incorporated in various foods, including Middle Eastern- and Mediterranean-inspired dishes. Because it is high in fiber and protein and very low in saturated fat, bulgur is good to have on-hand if you are looking for foods to add to your lipid-lowering meal plan. Bulgur can practically fit into any type of meal - whether you are planning a warm, quick breakfast or a filling stew.

This article will show you how to incorporate this delicious grain into your healthy meals.

Including Bulgur in Your Soups

A small amount of bulgur can go a long way in a soup. You can use bulgur to add a little bulk to a light vegetable soup or you can substitute it for another whole grain, such as rice or barley. Bulgur also has a fairly neutral taste, so you can experiment with a combination of ingredients to have a different soup every day of the week. When watching your lipids, you should make sure that you are not creaming your soups or adding ingredients such as excess cheese or buttery croutons - since these ingredients will add extra calories to your cholesterol-friendly dish. If you need these ingredients for your recipes, you should use low-fat versions of these products instead. To cut out additional saturated fat in a meaty soup, you can swap out the ground beef and use bulgur instead, since this heart-healthy grain is chock-full of protein.

 

Filling Bulgur Salads

Salads - brimming with veggies - are always a quick go-to food to have on-hand when you are watching your cholesterol. Sometimes, salads aren’t that filling, leading to the munchies a couple of hours after consuming them. If you are looking to add a more satisfying salad to your cholesterol-lowering meal plan, you should consider adding bulgur.

Because bulgur blends so well with other foods, the possibilities for your salad are endless. However, you should watch what type of dressing that you add to your salad since this could increase your caloric intake. Instead of cream-based dressings, such as Ranch or Thousand Island dressing, consider using a light vinaigrette dressing or a low-fat version of your favorite creamy dressing instead. Placing the dressing on the side - instead of directly on the salad - can also help limit the calories and fat that you consume for the dish. Here are a few examples of salads containing bulgur:

Side Dishes Containing Bulgur

Bulgur can be substituted for other whole grains to yield a tasty - and healthy - side dish. Although you can serve the bulgur plain, you can also combine bulgur with other herbs, spices, and vegetables to add more flavor. When preparing these sides, make sure that you limit the butter and salt that you add - especially is you are watching your heart health.

These tried-and-true favorites contain bulgur as the main ingredient:

Tasty Bulgur Entrees

There are also a variety of ways you can use bulgur in your main dishes due to this grain’s versatility. You can use it as a stuffing for your turkey, top of your favorite fish dish with it, or you could use bulgur as a meat substitute in your burger patties, enchiladas, and casseroles. Even though this is a healthy food, adding certain ingredients to it may add saturated fat, sugar, and/or calories to your meal. For instance, you should limit the amount of sauces, dips, syrups, creams, or gravies that you add to the dish since all of these are sources of calories. If you need these to accompany your meal, place them on the side and use as needed. And if you are buying some of these ingredients from the grocery store, check the package label to make sure that these products are low in saturated fat and sugar. 

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