Four Delicious Ways You Can Include Grapes in Your Low-Fat Diet

Grapes
Butinova Elena;

Grapes are a healthy and handy fruit to have available when you are following a diet to lower your cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Despite its small size, grapes are packed full of healthy ingredients that can help keep your lipids in check, such as fiber, vitamins, phytosterols, polyphenols, and other antioxidants. Although all grapes are nutritious, red and purple grapes are higher in heart-healthy polyphenols.

These tips will show you some easy ways to include grapes in your heart-healthy diet.

Use Grapes in Your Snacks

Grapes are an easy snack to have available when you are hungry and in a hurry.  And if eating them fresh gets a little boring, you can prepare your grapes in other ways, including:

  • Grilling - Next time you throw your favorite proteins on the grill, also add some grapes on there. This can help naturally sweeten the other foods you are preparing, and provide you with a tasty snack.
  • Freezing - Toss some grapes in the freezer for a sweet, cool snack.

These preparation methods are safe to use if you are watching your lipid levels. However, you should make sure that when you are heating or grilling your grapes, that you do not add ingredients such as butter - which could increase your saturated fat intake. You can also add a few raw grapes with other snacks, such as granola, trail mix, or whole wheat crackers.

Toss Grapes into Your Salads

Raw grapes make an excellent complement to any type of salad - whether you are preparing a fresh green salad, grilled chicken salad, or bean salad.

When preparing your salads, grapes can be tossed in whole or halved. If you are watching your fat intake, you should make sure that you are pairing grapes with other healthy ingredients for your salad, including:

  • Nuts
  • Legumes
  • Fruit
  • Whole grains
  • Vegetables
  • Lean cuts of chicken or turkey
  • Fatty fish, such as tuna or salmon

These ingredients will not sabotage your lipid-lowering diet and can give you a lot of variety - whether your salad is your entire meal or is just consumed as an appetizer.

Other ingredients commonly added to salads, such as cheese and creamy dressings, can heap on calories to your already low-fat salad. Therefore, you should check the calorie, sugar, and saturated fat content on the nutrition label of your salad dressing. You can also look for low-fat versions of these ingredients.

Include Grapes in Your Meals

Surprisingly, there are many ways to include this tasty fruit in many of your meals throughout the day. You can mix grapes into your favorite meals, incorporate them into a side dish, or add a few on to your main course:

  • For breakfast, you can cut up a handful of grapes and place them in your morning oatmeal, a white egg omelet, or whole wheat muffins. You can also mix them into a plain, low-fat yogurt or a smoothie for a quick and nutritious breakfast.
  • Grapes can also be incorporated into your sandwiches and sides, by either mashing them into a soft topping or cutting them up.
  • For your entree, grapes can be added as the final touch to your main dish or mixing them in during the preparation process. You can add them to your favorite chicken wrap or toss them into a crock pot with other healthy favorites for a tender, filling stew. You can also cut them up and add them on top of your grilled chicken or baked salmon. 

Either way you use them, adding grapes can help liven up many of your heart-healthy meals.

Grapes for Dessert

Because of their sweet flavor, grapes can also be incorporated into many desserts. Cholesterol-friendly desserts that you can incorporate grapes into include a low-fat frozen yogurt, a sorbet, or a fruit cocktail. When using grapes in your desserts, you should be careful to limit the amount of heavy creams, ice cream, cakes or butter that you include, as all of these ingredients could also introduce extra fat into your diet. Additionally, if you decide to make a sorbet or fruit cocktail, you should be careful regarding how much sugar or syrup that you add to your dessert - or you can use a sugar substitute to reduce the amount of sugar and calories in the dessert.

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