Despite the fact heart disease is one of the leading causes
of death in both women and men, few Americans take precautions to prevent
it. A recent survey
conducted by Cleveland Clinic found approximately 1/3 of those surveyed are not
taking any preventive measures for heart disease. Even more concerning, about 25% of those surveyed with
a family risk of heart disease confessed no concern and weren’t following a
heart healthy lifestyle.
prevent or even reverse heart disease and its complications. To follow a heart healthy diet you must
limit or avoid certain foods and include other heart healthy foods.
whole grains. Whole-wheat
flour, oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, and barley and examples of whole grains – foods that contain the entire grain. Whole
grains are typically good sources of fiber, provide increase satiety, and
help reduce blood cholesterol levels (which can lower risk of heart disease).
fruits and vegetables.
Fruits and vegetables
are known to be healthy for their abundance of vitamins and minerals, but they
are also loaded with a filling nutrient, fiber. Including adequate fruits and vegetables in your diet can
reduce the consumption of high-fat foods such as fatty meats, cheese, and junk
amounts of unsaturated fats: Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can help
reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) levels, and possibly increase good cholesterol (HDL)
levels. Good sources of
unsaturated fats are olive oil, safflower oil, nuts, seeds, flaxseed, salmon,
trout, and sardines. Keep in mind
all fats are calorie dense and should be consumed in moderation.
unhealthy fats and cholesterol.
Increased consumption of saturated and trans fat is correlated with
higher blood cholesterol levels and coronary artery disease. Saturated fats are typically found in
fat sources solid at room temperature such as fatty meats, dairy, eggs, and
butter. Trans fats are found in
fried foods, baked goods, stick margarines and shortenings.
sodium intake. Eating a diet
with high amounts of sodium has been linked to high blood pressure, one cause
of cardiovascular disease. The Department of Agriculture
recommends healthy adults limit sodium to 2,300 milligrams per day. Although reducing the salt you add to
food or while cooking is an important part of decreasing sodium, also limit
canned or processed foods.
Low Fat Cooking Substitutions
baked potato with salsa or Greek yogurt
Greek yogurt and fruit on toast and waffles
of frying apply a light coating of non-sticking cooking spray
cream based soups, thicken with pureed cauliflower
vegetables in low sodium broth
sour cream with non fat plain Greek yogurt in casseroles, dips, and spreads
ground beef that is at least 90% lean
skinless chicken breast
Greek yogurt on cakes and cupcakes as icing
½ the fat in baked goods with applesauce, mashed bananas, pumpkin, or pureed
Your family’s dietitian,