Taking care of your heart is the most important way to ensure a healthy life. The Center for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC) estimates that 25% of annual American deaths can be attributed to heart disease and that it kills 610,000 people per year. With such sobering statistics, Americans are taking a hard look at their diets and opting for heart healthy recipes.
What are the Benefits of Heart Healthy Foods?
People with heart healthy diets are less likely to suffer from heart disease and complications due to high cholesterol. Healthy diets are also linked to a better outlook on life, increased energy and improvements in overall appearance.
What are Heart Healthy Foods?
Heart healthy foods are high in vitamins and essential nutrients while remaining low in dangerous fats. Some examples include:
- Kidney Beans
- Dark Chocolate
How to Prepare Heart Healthy Foods
To get the maximum nutritional benefit, heart healthy foods are best consumed in a simple fashion. Eat them raw, or lightly sauteed in a minimal amount of oil. Smart consumers stay away from lard or heavy cooking oils and don't smother vegetables in cheese or cream sauces. Health-conscious Americans can incorporate these foods into their diets by being mindful of their consumption and creative in their cooking. Stay away from over-processed 'diet' options. Natural is the way to go when selecting healthy foods.
Where to Find Heart Healthy Foods
Heart healthy foods can be found in supermarkets and grocery stores across the United States. Look for produce that is firm and ripe and try to eat seasonally. Seasonal food is often fresher and full of more nutrients. Find out what foods are in season here. Alternately, visit farmers markets for locally-grown produce.
How to Find a Good Heart Healthy Recipe
The internet is a great source for heart healthy recipes so start your search there. Use the list of heart healthy foods at the top of this article as a guide or simply search for recipes that have a strong concentration of fruits and vegetables. Many vegetarian recipes can be easily modified to include meat and still retain the nutritional value of their bounty of vegetables. Facebook groups linked to healthy living or Pinterest are great places to find recipes. Most people in these groups are happy to share their favorite tips and preparations. Many gyms also have nutritional specialists on staff. Why not get a quick consultation after your workout?
Top 5 Routes for "Heart Healthy"
- Eat Right- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics This website is a treasure trove of nutritional advice from experts around the country. Their aim is to make eating better simple and straightforward. They provide useful tips on how to prepare heart healthy foods.
- Mayo Clinic The Mayo Clinic is an unrivaled expert on health and wellness. They have an abundance of information on their website, including insights from 3,300 medical experts, and can help make the transition to healthy eating easy.
- Health Health is an online magazine geared predominately towards women, but with information that can help anyone eat better. They have an impressive archive of recipes and tips on food preparation to allow even novices to create healthy masterpieces.
- Food Network America's number one network for recipes, food-related news and celebrity chefs. Food Network has taken its videos online and has a complete archive of video recipes that show viewers how to prepare various dishes step by step.
- American Heart Association The American Heart Association provides visitors with critical information on heart conditions, such as risk factors and the signs of a heart attack. It also gives valuable advice on how to prepare foods in a heart healthy way. Whether opting for a meal of superfoods or simply lighting up an existing dish, making recipes healthier is a matter of implementing a few tips and tricks.
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