by Katy Bowen, MS, RDN, LD
Director of Community Outreach, CHEF
February is Heart Health Month and what a better way to celebrate than to get in the kitchen and cook something healthy and fun! The key to heart healthy cooking is to use plenty of fruits and vegetables, while limiting ingredients that are high in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, and sodium. Fruits and vegetables, along with whole grains, are high in fiber, which can lower cholesterol and help decrease your risk for heart disease. Here are some helpful tips for heart smart cooking:
- Add vegetables, such as bell peppers, to mixed dishes to add flavor without adding salt.
- Use low-fat or fat free dairy products.
- Make your own salad dressings with heart healthy olive oil, garlic, fresh or dried herbs, and white wine vinegar.
- Choose leaner cuts of meat or trim excess fat.
- Use light meat poultry (breast) instead of dark meat, which is much fattier.
- Put your salt shaker in your kitchen cabinet instead of next to the stove so you are less likely to add salt. Reducing salt intake can help lower your blood pressure.
- Eat more fish. Fish contain heart healthy fats known as omega-3s. Eating one to two servings of fish per week can significantly decrease your risk of dying from a heart attack.