In honor of heart health month, which is held the month of February, below are nutrition guidelines and tips on eating for a healthy heart.
* CHOOSE A DIET RICH IN FRUITS, VEGETABLES, AND WHOLE GRAINS.
* CHOOSE A DIET LOW IN SATURATED FAT AND TRANS FATS: LIMIT FRIED FOODS, FATTY MEAT, BUTTER, AND MARGARINE.
* INCLUDE FOODS RICH IN OMEGA 3 FATS: SALMON, SARDINES, WALNUTS, AND FLAXSEEDS
* CHOOSE HEART HEALTHY FATS: NUTS, OLIVE OIL, CANOLA OIL, AVOCADO.
* LIMIT INTAKE OF SODIUM: DO NOT USE SALT SHAKER; USE HERBS AND SPICES INSTEAD; AVOID PROCESSED FOODS.
Below are BEST BETS: foods to include for heart health.
Choose foods high in SOLUBLE FIBER to reduce cholesterol levels
grains: oat bran, oatmeal, barley
starchy vegetables: sweet potato, winter squash (butternut, acorn)
Choose whole grains instead of white bread products
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Choose FRESH fruits and vegetables—they are rich in ANTIOXIDANTS, OTHER VITAMINS/MINERALS, FIBER and low in calories
FRUITS: citrus fruits, berries, kiwi, banana, apples, pears
fruit juices such as orange and grapefruit (watch portions of juice)
VEGETABLES: broccoli, carrots, green leafy vegetables, tomatoes,
MEATS AND ALTERNATIVES
Choose LEAN poultry: chicken breast without skin, fresh turkey breast
Choose fresh fish: baked, broiled or grilled
cod, flounder, red snapper, filet of sole (low in fat)
salmon, tuna, sardines (rich in heart healthy omega 3’s)
Include beans, peas (split peas, chick peas), lentils: they are high in fiber and low in fat.
Include soy products–tofu, soy milk (good source calcium)
Limit red meat as it is high in saturated fat.
Choose lowfat milk and dairy products
Skim milk, yogurt, low fat cottage cheese, low fat ricotta
Limit high fat cheese products as they are high in saturated fat.
Choose moderate amounts of olive oil and canola oil–as they are high in monounsaturated fat (“Good fat”).
CAUTION: USE IN MODERATION–ALL FATS HAVE ALOT OF CALORIES.
Include nuts and seeds in moderation.
Limit butter, coconut oil, palm oil (high in saturated fat).
Limit margarine and other partially hydrogenated products (high in trans fats).
Avoid foods high in salt and sodium: pickles, soy sauce, processed foods, salt shakers
Limit high fat cakes and pastries. Save for a treat.
Watch portion sizes!
© 2013 Lisa R. Young, PhD, RD, CDN