Guacamole is in its heyday, and for good reason. It's made from avocados which are packed with monounsaturated fat, a heart-healthy fat that may improve cholesterol levels, according to the Journal of Clinical Lipidology.
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Avocados also provide significant amounts of potassium, fiber and numerous essential vitamins. Pair a scoop of guacamole with the following foods for a healthy guacamole snack.
Veggie Spears Provide Vitamins
Looking for things to dip in guacamole? Slice up your favorite vegetables into 3-inch strips for easy and crunchy dipping. Carrots, celery and bell peppers work nicely. They taste yummy with guacamole and make an attractive, colorful appetizer dish when arranged together.
Veggie spears are not only a delicious source of crunchy flavor, but they also provide an array of vitamins and minerals along with a good dose of fiber. Adding more vegetables to your diet helps to meet your fiber goal, which averages between 25 and 30 grams for most adults. Vegetables are also low in calories, which makes them a perfect pairing option for calorie-dense dips such as guacamole. Dipping a variety of colorful veggies is a great way to do guacamole for lunch.
Crackers For Complex Carbs
For a quick and easy healthy guacamole snack, replace traditional fried tortilla chips with baked, whole grain crackers. Not only will you limit a considerable amount of fat from your dish, but you will also reap the benefits of a whole grain ingredient. Whole and unrefined grains are excellent sources of fiber and potassium.
Whole grains provide your body with energizing complex carbohydrates. They have even been linked to a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers and other health problems, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Shrimp For Lean Protein
Shrimp, like avocados, have been wrongly accused of having adverse affects on an otherwise well-balanced diet. They also contain "healthy" fats — more specifically, omega-3 fatty acids, which may help reduce numerous health risks such as heart disease and arthritis. Plus, the body can't make omega-3 fats, so it's important to consume enough through your diet.
Shrimp is also an excellent source of protein, selenium and vitamins like vitamin B-12, niacin and folate. Prepare the shrimp as though you plan to serve traditional shrimp cocktail, then simply replace the red stuff with the green stuff. They may just become one of your new favorite things to dip in guacamole.
Beet Chips For Healthy Crunch
Crunchy beet chips also pair well with guacamole. They are a satisfying source of vitamin C, fiber and essential minerals like potassium, which help your muscles function properly. Potassium also regulates fluid balance and blood pressure, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Baked beet chips are easy to make at home. For example, this LIVESTRONG.com recipe for crispy baked salt and vinegar beet chips calls for just four ingredients and 20 minutes of baking. The flavor makes this healthy guacamole snack an ideal alternative for high-calorie store-bought potato chips.
Read more: Why Are Beets Good For You?
Quesadillas Make it a Meal
Enjoy a dollop of guacamole on homemade quesadilla wedges. These serve as heartier, more substantial snacks but are still full of good nutrition. Quesadillas are also a great way to eat guacamole for lunch.
Fill a whole grain tortilla with healthy ingredients of your choice. If you include meat, be sure it is completely cooked. Keep the fat to a minimum by using some shredded chicken or beans and just a small amount of cheese. Fold the tortilla in half, brush the top with olive oil, and bake or grill the quesadilla until it is just slightly crispy. Cut it into wedges and dip into guacamole.
- Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: "Whole Grains"
- Journal of Clinical Lipidology: "Impact of Avocado-Enriched Diets on Plasma Lipoproteins: A Meta-Analysis"
- US Department of Health and Human Services: "Appendix 7. Nutritional Goals for Age-Sex Groups Based on Dietary Reference Intakes and Dietary Guidelines Recommendations"
- MyFoodData: "Nutrition Facts for Cooked Shrimp"
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: "What Is Potassium?"