As many of us know, February is designated as American Heart Month. Heart disease is the number one killer in America. February is the month to raise awareness about heart disease and spread the message of prevention. Sodium, fat and cholesterol are reduced in a heart healthy diet. Here are some simple tips to help to eat heart smart.
- When broiling or roasting, place meat on a rack so the fat can drip off into another pan.
- Choose foods that are baked or grilled instead of fried.
- Avoid fried foods and dishes with heavy sauces.
- Select ground sirloin and extra lean ground beef, instead of regular ground beef.
- For breakfast pick whole grain breads and cereals over biscuits and croissants.
- Instead of soups made with cream or milk, pick clear soups that are broth based like vegetable and tomato soup.
- Eat fish at least twice a week. Some of the best choices are tuna, herring, sardines, and salmon.
- Season vegetables with a low sodium stock chicken, beef, or vegetable stock. Use garlic powder, onion powder and fresh onion, garlic, and lemon to add another layer of flavor.
- For dessert, try a fruit cup with sorbet or nonfat yogurt.
- When eating out substitute grilled chicken and a side salad for the typical fried chicken with french fries.
Managing stress, keeping physically active, controlling weight and smoking cessation, all play key roles in heart health.
Erika Watson-Lawson is a registered dietitian with Memorial Hospital.