Avocados and heart health | Lifestyle

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The mighty avocado. I hope you like it because it packs a great deal of nutrition and if eaten regularly can reduce blood pressure and improve cholesterol, two big predictors of heart disease.

These heart-healthy benefits are especially effective if avocados are substituted for foods high in saturated fats, like red meat and dairy.

Avocados can boost your good cholesterol (HDL) and also naturally contain cholesterol blockers that help prevent (bad) LDL cholesterol from being absorbed in your gut. They taste good but they are also so good for you. In a recent study, individuals eating just a half of an avocado on a hamburger had less inflammation in their blood vessels compared to people who just ate the burger.

Needless to say, a half of an avocado paired with salmon is even more nutritious because the salmon is rich in vitamin D, protein and omega-3 fatty acids. This recipe calls for canned salmon (pink or red). Either is fine, but if you have fresh salmon, use that by all means.

This would be a great lunch with a small apple or a great dinner, paired with a cup of soup and a small apple. And while this recipe is diabetic appropriate, it is a wonderful meal for anyone. Enjoy!

SALMON STUFFED AVOCADO (serves 2)

1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 (5-ounce) can salmon, drained

Chopped chives for garnish

Step 1. Combine yogurt, celery, parsley, lime juice, mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl; mix well. Add salmon and mix well.

Step 2. Halve the avocado lengthwise and remove pit. Scoop about 1 tablespoon flesh from each avocado half into a small bowl. Mash the scooped-out avocado flesh with a fork and stir into the salmon mixture.

Step 3. Divide the salmon mixture and fill each avocado half, mounding it on top of the avocado halves. Garnish with chives, if desired.

Serving Size: 1/2 Avocado And 1/2 Cup Salmon Salad

Per Serving: 293 calories; protein 22.5g; carbohydrates 10.5g; dietary fiber 7g; sugars 1.8g; fat 19.6g; saturated fat 3g; cholesterol 61.2mg; vitamin a iu 413IU; vitamin c 14.1mg; folate 94.1mcg; calcium 94.2mg; iron 1.1mg; magnesium 52mg; potassium 807.2mg; sodium 399.8mg.

(Candy Work is a certified physician assistant and a registered dietician. She has practiced at Olean Medical Group since 2015.)

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