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A Fresh Approach to Eating

Heart Healthy Foods for Women

Let’s talk a few minutes about the types of foods that keep our heart healthy.

  1. Eat a Colorful Diet:

    One of the most delicious ways is to add colorful fruits and vegetables. As many as you can each day, these include purple, red, orange-red, orange, yellow-orange, yellow, yellow-green, green, dark green and white.

    Each color of fruit and vegetables represent a set of beneficial plant chemicals that are medicinal to help prevent and fight disease.

For example, try a delicious protein bowl with purple cabbage, sweet potato, kale, chopped tomatoes and onions (if you
can tolerate onions.

Choose Your Fats Carefully!

2. Replace Saturated, Trans, & Tropical Fats with Heart Healthy Fats

Saturated fats come from mostly animals like meats, eggs and dairy. According to health guidelines saturated fats should make up only 5-6% calories from fat. For example if someone is eating 2000 calories, that their heart would stay healthier eating about 120 calories from fat.

Eating lean means and trimming all fat off of meat, eating poultry without the skin. Choosing liquid oils like oil or canola and replacing beans or legumes for meat several times a week along with eating more fish and nuts for protein can help keep the heart healthy.

Plants may also have a small amount of saturated fats but it is minimal with the exception of tropical fats like coconut or tropical which are atherogenic properties. This means that they can increase the risk of heart disease.

Trans fats or hydrogenated fats are manufactured fats where hydrogens are added to make their fat creamy and provide a longer shelf life. However, these provide very little nutritional benefit and can impact our heart and vessels negatively. The thing many people don’t realize is that foods can have half of a gram of trans fat and be labeled as zero grams.

This can really be an issue when people eat large portions of foods with trans fats. Many food labels now do not list if a food has any trans-fat but looking on the ingredient list can give you an idea if it has it. That is because if it says that it is hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fat that means it contains trans-fat.

3. Focus on seasonings, flavorings and herbs that are lower in salt.

To maintain a healthy blood pressure, the latest research suggests that the ideal amount of sodium is just 1500 mg a day and we should have no more than 2300 mg a day. This is a lot lower than the majority of us eat daily.

Here are a few ways that we can start to cut back on sodium in our diet:

-If you eat canned foods, rinse and drain the foods before preparation or eating if these foods are not low sodium canned foods.

-Be aware that some foods are naturally higher in sodium such as cheese, seafood, olives and legumes.

-Packaged and processed foods are going to contain more sodium than from cooking from scratch. One example that we found includes rice and pasta mixes which was very surprising!

-Table salt, kosher salt, sea salt and pink salt are all abundant sources of sodium.

-Over the counter medications like decongestants and supplements can be high in sodium. And even prescription medications can have added supplements.

It may be easiest to cut back on sodium a little bit at a time because our taste buds adapt, and we may soon feel that the previous daily intake and some foods that we really enjoyed may taste too salty. Too much salt in our diet can also impact our bone health and kidneys so in addition to our heart, it is a good thing to monitor.

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Vegetables have many preventative properties

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