It’s cholesterol awareness month and I’m here to share some easy ways we can eat our way to a healthier heart. People with high cholesterol have about twice the risk of getting heart disease compared to people who have normal cholesterol, but food choices can help you manage cholesterol. I’m excited to be working with great brands to inspire you and help raise awareness around heart health so you can eat in a heart healthy way.
(Disclosure: I work with the brands mentioned on the TV segment and this blog post.)
Build a Heart Healthy Pantry
Artichoke bean and tuna salad over arugula – nearly everything here comes from your pantry and gets on your table with the help of canned foods. Cans seal in freshness, flavor, and nutrients and they’re ready when you are!
Simply combine cannellini beans, quartered artichokes and two cans of tuna fish. Add juice and zest of a lemon, plus chopped fresh parsley and ground black pepper. And that’s it – no cooking, no added salt, and low cholesterol!
Beans are known to be a food recommended on the heart healthy Mediterranean diet, thanks to their rich fiber content. Fish is a good heart healthy choice because it’s low in cholesterol, saturated fat and has omega 3’s. You can try this with canned chicken too if you don’t like tuna fish. Canned proteins are really convenient meal time savers. Also check out www.cansgetyoucooking.com for more recipe inspiration.
Choose a Heart Healthy Cooking Oil
Chinese food is a huge favorite in my house, but healthy take-out options are often hard to come by. This is my “healthified” version of honey orange chicken. The marinade is Mazola corn oil – a polyunsaturated fat – one of the “good fats” we should be getting in our food – combined with the juice and zest of an orange, reduced sodium soy sauce, and a drizzle of honey. Toss the broccoli in the microwave for 2-3 minutes and serve over brown rice to give you a boost of fiber, vitamins, and minerals compared to white rice.
For oils and heart health, the Journal of Clinical Lipidology has published a study that found that corn oil can help lower cholesterol more than extra virgin olive oil by blocking your body from absorbing cholesterol in food. Mazola Corn Oil has four times the plant sterols of olive oil and 40 percent more than canola oil, plus it can be used in baking, grilling and sautéing.
Swap Your Salty and Fried Snacks
Munch on nuts for heart healthy snacking. Scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as pistachios, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Nearly 90-percent of fats in Wonderful Pistachios are the healthy unsaturated type. Lightly salted and no salt varieties are available for people watching their sodium intake. I love the convenient portable packages you can put in your lunch box or snack packs at work. It’s a fun way to get crackin’ and great for easy portion control.
What are your favorite heart healthy meals?
What are some of you favorite heart healthy-inspired meals and activities? Share your favorite tips and recipes that help you celebrate cholesterol awareness month in the comments below.
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