August 26, 2019 Herb 0Comment

Just days before Labor Day, American Heart News calls for healthy salads, including a taco salad with avocado-cilantro, to be put on your picnic menu.  Your picnic-friendly dish “needn’t be bland or wimpy” but “zesty, fun and nutritious,” says the editor, praising the benefits of the healthy dish.

According to the American Health News (AHN), the ingredients of this salad include kidney beans and black-eyed peas, totaling 27 grams of protein and 17 grams of fiber.  The salad serving gives you more than half of the percent daily values based on a 2,000-calorie diet.

Make Taco Salad Part of Your Heart Healthy Diet Photo Credit: American Heart News

Eating beans as part of a heart healthy diet and lifestyle is good for your health.  Beans help improve your blood cholesterol, a leading cause of heart disease. Adding beans to your diet may help keep you feeling full longer.  There are many to choose from—black beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, pinto, cannelloni, lima, mung and navy beans

“As a vegetarian, I was pleased to see this recipe, which follows a recommended diet that emphasizes vegetables, fruits and legumes,” said Dr. Erin Michos, a cardiologist at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, in an August 23rd AHN article. She is a member of the committee that wrote the 2019 prevention guidelines issued by the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association.

High-Fiber Food Manages Blood Sugar Levels

“Beans are a high-fiber food that can help manage blood sugar levels and thus are preferred over many other starchy foods,” says Michos, noting that “They’re also a good replacement for meat as a source of protein.”

Michos also gave a thumbs up to the recipe’s mix of a little avocado and a lot of greens. Each salad serving contains 1 cup of greens – such as romaine lettuce, spinach or arugula – and one-fourth of a medium-size avocado.

“Avocado is extremely healthy, and it has good fats, but it’s also high in calories, so you have to eat it in moderation,” adds Michos. “Leafy greens fill you up, and they’re both healthy and low-calorie, which is one reason why I’m a big fan of salads like this one,” she says.

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