Delicious Ways to Sneak Salmon into Your Lipid-Lowering Diet

Salmon
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Salmon is a fish that is chock-full of omega-3 fatty acids, a type of unsaturated fat that has some heart-healthy benefits. In studies, omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to lower triglyceride levels and lower your risk of experiencing a heart attack or stroke.  

Salmon can be obtained fresh or you can find it canned or in packaging with other fish at the grocery store. Although it makes no difference which version you select, you may need to check the labeling before purchasing.

For canned or packaged salmon, makes sure that the salmon is packed in water - and not oil - since this can increase your calorie intake. Some canned or packaged versions of salmon can have extra salt added - so if you are watching your salt intake, you should check the sodium content on the package label. 

Because of the positive health influences of omega-3s, the American Heart Association (AHA) recognizes the importance of including fatty fish, such as salmon, in a heart-healthy diet due to its omega-3 content. The AHA currently recommends including two servings per week of fatty fish in the diet. One serving of salmon is roughly equal to 3.5 ounces.  

Salmon can be inserted into any part of your cholesterol-lowering diet. These tips and recipes will show you healthy ways you can include salmon in your meals.

Salmon for Breakfast

In addition to being high in omega-3 fats, salmon is also high in protein - making it the perfect food to start your day and keep the mid-morning munchies away.

There are plenty of ways to fit this delicious fish into your breakfast:

  • You can add thinly chopped salmon to a slice of whole-wheat toast or whole-grain bagel. If adding a spread, make sure that it is low in sugar and saturated fat. Instead of butter, you can use a phytosterol-rich spread - which is lower in calories and higher in cholesterol-friendly phytosterols.
  • Mixed chopped salmon - along with your favorite veggies - into your egg whites or omelette. To cut calories, you can limit or use low-fat versions of your favorite cheeses, creams, and milk.
  • Do you like to eat meat - such as steak or pork chops - with your breakfast? If so, substitute the meat with grilled or lightly sauteed salmon for a leaner meal. If you decide to saute your salmon, you should use an oil that is lower in saturated fat - such as canola oil or olive oil.

You can also try this healthy breakfast recipe using salmon:

Salmon as a Snack

Pairing salmon with a high-fiber grain can make a perfect, filling snack. If you're really in a hurry - and want to keep your snack healthy - you can just consume salmon by itself. Even though salmon is healthy, the calories of this fish can add up if you consume too much, so moderation is important. Here are some healthy snacks containing salmon:

  • Mix your favorite herbs and spices into some low-fat cream or goat cheese, layer onto cold, smoked salmon, and roll into a pinwheel. If you want to cut calories and saturated fat even more, use hummus instead of the cheese.
  • Layer thinly sliced salmon onto a whole-grain cracker - along with a few cucumbers, tomatoes, or other healthy toppings.

Salmon Lunch Ideas

There a lot of ways you can add salmon to your lunch plate - whether you’re looking for a light lunch salad or a heavier sandwich to help you to help fuel you through the rest of your busy day.  Here are a few healthy ways you can do this:

  • Load some thinly-sliced smoked salmon onto a piece of whole-grain bread and load on your favorite veggies for a healthy sandwich or sandwich wrap. Yes, you can add cheese - but make sure that you watch how much you add since this can add saturated fat and calories to your sandwich. To cut even more calories, use mustard instead of mayonnaise to give your sandwich some extra flavor. 
  • Mix together leafy greens, egg whites, beans and salmon for a protein-packed lunch salad. If you are watching your lipid levels, watch what type of dressing you add to your salad. Creamy dressings are higher in saturated fat in comparison to vinegar-based dressings. Additionally, dressings may have hidden sugar in them. So, check your labels for carbohydrate content to make sure your dressing isn't high in sugar. There are also low-fat or low-calorie versions of your favorite dressings that you can use.
  • Add baked salmon to your favorite soup. To make the soup more filling, add a handful of beans or lentils. You can use a low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth as a base, but make sure that you limit the addition of heavy creams, which can add saturated fat to the soup.

Entrees Containing Salmon

Salmon can also be the centerpiece of a tasty entree. Healthy ways to prepare this scrumptious fish include grilling, lightly sauteing, baking, roasting or broiling the salmon. Although not a common way to cook it, you should avoid frying salmon if you are following a lipid-lowering diet - since this can add unhealthy trans-fats to your diet. 

To add flavor to your salmon during the preparation process, herbs and spices - such as pepper, garlic, rosemary, and dill - can be added without introducing a lot of calories. Creamy sauces and gravies can add saturated fat to your dish, so make sure that you are using low-fat alternatives and placing the sauce on the side - instead of directly on the fish. Salsas, fresh fruit (such as pineapple or citrus fruits), vegetable, legumes, and nuts are also healthy additions to use to bring out the flavor of your salmon. These delicious recipes are healthy examples of salmon-inspired entrees:

Source:

Fish and Omega-3 Fats. American Heart Association Website. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/HealthyEating/Nutrition/Fish-and-Omega-3-Fatty-Acids_UCM_303248_Article.jsp#.V-QF4_ArKM8

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