“Here’s to heart health”
Connecting the dots…nutrition simplified
February is Heart Health Month. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), cardiovascular disease is still the leading cause of death in the United States; one in every three deaths is from heart disease and stroke, equal to 2,200 deaths per day. Join us today and take control of your heart health by following these simple steps.
Heart-healthy diet tips:
Facts about fats
Eating a diet low in saturated fat and trans fat is the first step in reducing your cholesterol levels. Saturated fat is found in higher fat meats, dark meat poultry (the skin), butter, cheese and whole or 2 percent milk. Trans fat is often found in foods that are processed such as certain types of margarine, cookies, donuts and other bakery products. But the good news is that saturated fat and trans fat can be avoided as there are fat-free and low-fat versions of many foods available.
- Instead of full-fat dairy products, choose fat-free or low-fat varieties like low-fat milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, sour cream, cheese and mayonnaise.
- Choose a “light” butter or margarine that is trans-fat free and low in saturated fat. Many companies offer light spreads that contain healthy fats.
- Use liquid plant oils for cooking and baking or a non-fat cooking spray. Olive, canola, and other plant-based oils are rich in heart-healthy unsaturated fats and contain little saturated fat.
- Choose lean proteins such as lean cuts of red meat, skinless chicken breast, fish, skinless turkey breast, pork tenderloin and extra lean ground beef.
- Choose lean cold cuts such as turkey, ham, roast beef or chicken. Top them with mustard instead of mayonnaise, or try a non-fat or light mayonnaise.
- Include “good” fats in your diet such as fatty fish like salmon, nuts such as walnuts or almonds, and canola oil; all good sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Limit your intake of fried foods and choose healthier cooking methods. For example, grilled chicken instead of fried chicken and roasted potatoes rather than French fries.
- Choose a healthier dessert idea such as non-fat yogurt and fresh fruit instead of pastries, donuts and cakes, which are sure to be high in saturated fat and trans fat.
- Add fiber to your diet by including fruits, vegetables and whole grain products. A diet rich in fiber can help to keep cholesterol levels in a healthy range.
Shaking the salt habit
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), eating too much sodium can create all sorts of health problems, including high blood pressure. Sodium overload is a major health problem in the United States. The average American consumes about 3,400 milligrams of sodium a day. Everyone, including kids, should reduce their sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day (about 1 teaspoon of salt). Adults age 51 and older, African Americans of any age, and individuals with high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease should further reduce their sodium intake to 1,500 mg a day.
- Look out for salt (sodium) in foods you buy— it all adds up. Choose lower-sodium foods or low-sodium versions of your favorites. Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread and frozen meals—and choose the foods with lower numbers. Add spices or herbs to season food without adding salt.
- Quick tip – To lower the sodium in your diet use the 5/20 rule. This basic rule of thumb says that when reading a food label 5% daily value or lower is a low amount and 20% daily value or higher is a high amount.
Top 10 foods for a healthy heart
These nutrient rich foods and products may help reduce your risk for heart disease and other health conditions:
- Almonds. A great snack food or addition to any meal. Almonds provide plenty of fiber, riboflavin, magnesium and calcium. They’re also a great source of protein and are cholesterol free. Their best heart healthy attribute comes from their monounsaturated fatty acids – a healthy fat that can help lower cholesterol levels.
- Apples. Apples contain pectin, a soluble fiber that may help lower cholesterol levels and blood sugar. They’re also a great source of vitamin C–an antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage and can help boost iron absorption.
- Berries. Don’t let their size fool you. Blueberries, raspberries and strawberries pack a powerful punch of anti-inflammatory compounds and fiber which can help reduce the risk for heart disease and certain cancers.
- Dark chocolate. A little, in moderation, can be helpful for your heart. Dark chocolate (a minimum of 70%) contains flavonoids which act as an antioxidant and have been shown to help improve blood pressure, blood flow and reduce clotting.
- Flax meal and flaxseed oil. A sprinkle of flax seed can go a long way when it comes to heart health. They’re full of omega-3 fatty acids and fiber—both key ingredients for a healthy heart. Add flax meal to yogurt, oatmeal, cereal, smoothies and baked goods. You can also try a flaxseed oil supplement for all of the omega-3 benefit without the fiber.
- Beans. Get your fill of fiber with lentils, chick peas or black, kidney and white beans. They are an excellent low-fat source of soluble fiber and protein. If you are choosing canned beans, be sure to thoroughly drain and rinse them to help reduce salt intake.
- Salmon. Fatty fish like salmon contain omega-3 fatty acids, a type of fat that can help reduce blood pressure and your risk of blood clots. In addition, salmon is low in saturated fat and cholesterol and is a good source of protein. Try fresh, frozen or canned salmon.
- Spinach. This power food can help keep your heart in shape since it contains lutein, folate, potassium and fiber. A diet rich in dark green leafy vegetables is a sure-fire way to give your heart a boost.
- Whole grains. Research shows that a diet low in fat and rich in whole grains has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease. When shopping look for 100% whole-grain products.
- Fish oil. If you’re not a salmon fan you can still get your heart healthy omega-3’s with a fish oil supplement. Look for supplements with at least 600mg of DHA. 5
For more healthy eating tips and recipe ideas, visit us at shoprite.com/wellness or visit your in-store dietitian to help you put a plan in place.
Sarada Bernstein MPH, RD is a Corporate Dietitian for ShopRite Supermarkets.
Simple Dill Salmon
Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes
- 4 (5-oz.) salmon fillets
- 4 tbsp. fresh lemon juice, divided
- 1 tsp. ShopRite Granulated Sugar
- 1 tsp. dried dill
- ½ tsp. garlic pepper
- 2 tbsp. ShopRite Imported Olive Oil
- 3 cups fresh spinach or arugula
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Place salmon, skin side down, on a 15×10-inch rimmed baking sheet or broiler pan rack. Drizzle evenly with 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice. Sprinkle with sugar, dill and garlic pepper. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
- Meanwhile, for the dressing, in a small bowl combine oil and remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Place arugula in a medium bowl. Drizzle with dressing just before serving; toss to coat. Serve salmon with dressed spinach.
Per Serving: 265 calories, 16g fat, 3g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 65mg cholesterol, 90mg sodium, 3g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 27g protein.
Make it a meal: Serve with sautéed squash and multi-grain rolls.