Planning and preparing heart healthy meals may take a little extra effort, but the health benefits are worth it.
Here are some tips for cutting down on saturated fat, trans fat, and dietary cholesterol, which will help you lower your heart disease risk.
- For a change, try brown rice or whole-wheat pasta. Try brown rice stuffing in baked green peppers or tomatoes and whole-wheat macaroni in macaroni and cheese.
- Try rolled oats or a crushed, unsweetened whole-grain cereal as breading for baked chicken, fish, veal cutlets, or eggplant parmesan.
- Snack on ready-to-eat, whole-grain cereals, with little or no added sugar, such as toasted oat cereal.
- Buy fresh vegetables in season. They cost less and are likely to be at their peak flavor.
- Plan some meals around a vegetable main dish, such as a vegetable stir-fry or soup. Then add other foods to complement it, such as brown rice, cooked dried beans, walnuts, etc.
- Cut up vegetables in advance to make snacking and cooking quick and convenient.
- Or, use frozen vegetables without added fat or canned vegetables that have been drained and rinsed to lower the sodium content.
- Keep a bowl of whole fruit on the table, counter, or in the refrigerator.
- Vary your fruit choices. Fruits differ in nutrient content.
- Many fruits taste great with a dip or dressing. Try fat-free or low-fat yogurt or pudding as a dip for fruits like strawberries or melons.
Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese Group
- Include milk as a beverage at meals. Choose fat-free or low-fat milk (regular or lactose free).
- Have fat-free or low-fat yogurt as a snack.
- Prepare homemade and condensed cream soups (such as cream of tomato) with fat-free or low-fat milk.