It was such an interesting experience to showcase some heart healthy cooking tips and recipes on KOLO’s Good Morning Reno last week. I just couldn’t wait to share these super simple healthy recipes with you! You might want to try one this week! (As usual, if you would like expanded versions of the recipes with nutrition facts just send me an email!)
In celebration of American Heart Month and Go Red For Women here are some simple delicious recipes and heart healthy facts. Now I’m no a doctor, but I do know a few tricks to reduce your fat intake and boost your antioxidant levels.
You’ll find some recipes I created for Heart Health Awareness month below. They take advantage of heart-healthy cooking tips like these:
- Add some smoked salmon to your scrambled egg whites or healthy wraps. Fatty cold-water fish like salmon are rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, as well as selenium, an antioxidant shown to help protect your heart.
- Toss your favorite greens in some Balsamic vinegar and fresh pepper instead of glopping on the Ranch dressing. Balsamic vinegar reduces hardening of arteries, it can also help normalize your blood pressure levels.
- Make a batch of beans for the week to throw into wraps and salads. Black beans are chock full of B-complex vitamins, niacin, folate, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and soluble fiber.
- Add super-food spices like cumin and turmeric. There are a lot of spices out there that have benefits above and beyond making your food taste great. Turmeric is an excellent example. Fat carries flavor in foods. By adding spices and herbs you not only increase anti-oxidants, you can reduce added fat and replace it with flavor.
According to the CDC, Cardiovascular disease (CVD)—including heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure—is the number 1 killer of women and men in the United States. One way to lower your risk, is by eating heart friendly foods. Getting antioxidants from foods is a great part of a heart-friendly diet. You’ll get plenty from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, and nuts. You’ll also get fiber and great taste.
If you’re thinking about taking antioxidant supplements, that’s not the same thing. “Vitamin or mineral supplements aren’t a substitute for a balanced, nutritious diet that limits excess calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, and dietary cholesterol,” states the American Heart Association. In February 2014, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued a report stating that there is not enough evidence to show that multivitamins or mineral supplements can lower the odds of getting heart disease or cancer.
Vitamin E supplements have not been shown to have benefits against heart disease. They also haven’t been shown to be risky. Food sources of vitamin E include nuts, leafy greens, seed oils, and fortified cereals. Beta-carotene supplements also show no benefit for heart disease. Some studies show that people who smoke or drink heavily and take beta-carotene supplements are more likely to get heart disease. The USPSTF recommends against taking beta-carotene or vitamin E supplements for the purpose of preventing heart disease or cancer.
Remember, the recommendation only applies to supplements. Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free and low-fat dairy products, and seafood is linked to a smaller chance of getting heart disease or cancer, the USPSTF notes. You can get beta-carotene from fruits and vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, and tomatoes.
We can’t change all of our eating habits overnight, but with little steps in the right direction, everyone can enjoy a better quality of life. Now get cookin’!