My Best Tips on How to Enjoy the Foods You Love and Keep Your Heart healthy

February is Heart Health Month, and this month, I’m sharing some tips on how what you eat can keep your heart healthy and beating strong!

Tip #1 – Be Mindful of Salt and Hidden Salt Sources

Many people don’t realize that adding a small amount of salt from a table shaker after your food has been served isn’t the real culprit when it comes to watching our sodium intake. We need to be far more careful about the amount of salt that’s added to many of the pre-made foods we enjoy. So how can you watch your sodium intake?

  • The American Heart Association recommends no more 2,300mg per day for the average adult and 1,500mg per day of sodium if you have high blood pressure or are over 50 years old. (Keep in mind, 1 teaspoon of salt = 2,300mg of sodium) If you’re not sure how much salt/sodium is in the foods you enjoy, always check the label.
  • Sources of “hidden” sodium to watch out for include: salt, processed/packaged foods, cheese, bread, canned foods/soups. Look for items that say “low-sodium” on the label.
  • A good habit to get into is to use herbs and spices for flavoring instead of salt. Keep them handy on your counter where you prepare your meals.

Tip # 2 - Boost Your Fiber Intake

  • Fiber can help reduce cholesterol levels as it binds to cholesterol in the body to be removed via waste from the body
  • Sources of fiber to increase include: whole grains (bread, brown rice, popcorn, pasta), fruits, vegetables, beans
    • My favorites include Bowl & Basket 100% Whole Wheat Bread, Bowl & Basket Yellow Popcorn Kernels, Wholesome Pantry Frozen Fruit, Wholesome Pantry Beans

Tip # 3 - Enjoy Heart Healthy Fats

Fats are not the enemy, they provide energy and protection, what matters is the type of fat you eat

  • Increase Healthy Fats Sources
    • Fish
    • Olive Oil
    • Avocado
    • Nuts
  • Decrease Unhealthy Fats Sources and Swap For a Healthy Alternative
    • Fried Foods- Try an Airfrying, or baking
    • Commercial baked goods- Baked from scratch is best
    • Animal Fat: beef, pork, chicken- Enjoy the lean meat
    • Fats Solid at Room Temperature: Butter, Lard, Shortening, Tropical Oil (Coconut oil, palm oil) 
  • Remember, all foods fit, however; enjoying at moderation is key for a healthy heart!

Tip # 4 - Prepare your own food! 

This way you have control over the ingredients, seasoning and cooking methods.  Below are two of my favorite easy recipes that fit for a health heart! 

Salmon Brown Rice Veggie Medley Pouch

Heart Healthy Recipe

Rainbow Avocado Toast

Heart Healthy Recipe

Thanks for taking the time to stop by my ‘corner.’ If you want more nutrition and recipe inspiration, follow our Instagram page (@TheFreshGrocer), where I will be sharing nutrition tips all month long.

In Good Health,