Nutrition

Quick, Simple, and Tasty Heart-healthy Tips

Last updated: Feb 01, 2013

February is heart month
and the perfect time to visit your cardiologist
for a checkup!

It's also a good time to make dietary and lifestyle changes
that can help protect your heart.

 

In addition to regular exercise and a low-stress lifestyle,
eating a diet that is high in fiber, low in saturated fat and cholesterol, 
and helps you maintain a healthy weight 
is one of the best things you can do to protect your heart.


 

Try these tasty tips for a heart-healthy eating plan:

  • Add already-washed, healthy, and colorful veggies to your meals and snacks
    According to data from Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), having more vegetables in your diet can help lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, heart attack, heart failure, certain cancers, kidney stones, kidney disease, and diabetes. For 3 consecutive years, an expert panel of physicians for US News and World Reports has ranked DASH the healthiest diet for people with diabetes
    • For a quick, simple way to add more vegetables to your daily meals and snacks:
      • Buy already-washed, chopped vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, carrots, string beans,
        and salad
      • Snack on succulent celery, convenient carrots, and perky green, red, yellow, and orange pepper slices
        for great tasting high-fiber, low-calorie, and heart-healthy snacks
      • Pair fresh, raw, sliced vegetables with hummus for a light lunch that's packed with protein and fiber
  • Boost your fiber, vitamin, and mineral intake without unwanted calories and fat when dining out
    • Sup on steamed spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, kale, zucchini, or squash with freshly squeezed lemon for a tasty, heart-conscious side dish
       
  • Cut your fat and calories per American Heart Association recommendations 
    • Go with grilled instead of battered and fried chicken and burgers for a heart-healthy sandwich that's high in protein and low in total and saturated fat 
    • Opt for fresh salad with oil and vinegar dressing to avoid high-fat, artery-clogging hors d'oeuvres like fried mozzarella sticks and fried chicken fingers
       
  • Choose reduced-salt or no-added-salt canned soups, vegetables, and tomato sauce to help lower blood pressure 
  • Opt for omega-3 fatty acids to help lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart attack
    • Sprinkle ground flaxseeds high in fiber and omega-3s in your yogurt, hot or cold cereal, meatballs (instead of breadcrumbs), or in the batter for crispy fish and chicken
       
  • Make it Mediterranean
    Recent data published in Journal of the American Medical Association suggest that women can reduce their risk of sudden heart attack by staying at a healthy weight, exercising regularly, not smoking, and following a Mediterranean diet that is abundant in vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, whole grains, and fish.
    • To follow a Mediterranean diet, be sure you eat:
      • Vegetable-based meals that are high in colorful, vitamin-packed, mineral-rich vegetables such as dark green kale, deep red tomotoes, bright yellow summer squash, royal purple eggplant, and crunchy white fennel
      • Fresh fruit or canned fruit that is packed in its own juice for extra fiber and vitamins
      • Almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, and pecans in small amounts (a handful a day) that are high in healthy fats, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids
      • Legumes such as beans and peas for added protein and fiber without saturated fat
      • Fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines for omega-3 fatty acids
      • Whole grains for extra fiber, vitamins, and minerals
      • Olive oil for healthy monounsaturated fat instead of saturated fats such butter and other vegetable oils to flavor salads and drizzle over steamed or roasted vegetables; toss whole olives into your salads
         
  • Savor smart sweets
    • Enjoy a ready-to-eat baked apple for dessert to help meet National Cholesterol Program recommendations for increasing soluble fiber and decreasing harmful LDL cholesterol levels

Our registered dietitians
can help design a heart-healthy eating plan
for you!

Call us today 
at 908-277-8731.

 

Find out how exercise can help your mood and heart.

Find out how high blood pressure can affect your heart and overall health.

Read how exercise can help lower your blood pressure.

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