Eat Hearty: Heart and Nutrition

Heart and nutrition

If you fail to recognize the link between heart and nutrition, you may end up eating your heart out, so to speak. Eating a healthy diet that includes fruits and vegetables, grains, protein and goes easy on fats and oils could be your ticket to a life free of heart disease, heart attacks, stroke, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, and even some forms of cancer.

  • Fruits and vegetables. A source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, while mostly low in fat, calories, sodium, and cholesterol. Eat 3-5 servings of vegetables and 2-3 servings of fruits every day.
  • Grains. Low-fat breads, cereals, crackers, rice, pasta, starchy vegetables like peas, potatoes, corn, winter squash, and lima beans are rich in B vitamins, iron, and fiber, and low in fat and cholesterol. Grain products, including whole grain are also rich in minerals and complex carbohydrates. Eat at least six servings a day, but don’t overdo it or you might gain weight. Steer clear of baked products like butter rolls, cheese crackers, and croissants, as well as cream sauces for pasta and vegetables, and cream soup.
  • Protein. Meat, poultry, seafood, dried peas, lentils, nuts, and eggs all provide protein, B vitamins, iron, and other vitamins and minerals. Skim or 1% milk and dairy products like low-fat or non-fat cheese, yogurt, and buttermilk provide calcium, the B vitamins niacin and riboflavin, and vitamins A and D.
  • Skip duck, goose, marbled meats, prime cuts of high-fat meats, organ meats like kidneys and liver, shellfish like shrimp and lobster, and prepared meats like sausage, hot dogs, and high-fat lunch meats.
  • Don’t eat more than six cooked ounces or meat, poultry and fish per day, or a serving approximately the size of a deck of cards. Eat two servings of fish weekly.
  • Trim offal noticeable fat from meat before cooking.

    buy now

  • Bake, broil, roast, steam, boil, or microwave instead of deep frying.
  • Try using less meat and even having meatless meals a couple of times each week. This will reduce the total fat content of any given meal.
  • Decrease the amount of saturated fat in your diet by opting for skinless turkey, chicken, fish, or lean red meat.
  • Keep egg yolks to a minimum of 3-4 a week.
  • Fats, oils, and cholesterol. Too much saturated fat can lead to an accumulation of cholesterol in the blood vessels. Cholesterol-clogged arteries are a risk factor for heart attack, stroke, and other serious medical issues.
  • Keep total fat intake to 25%-35% and saturated fat intake to 10% of total daily calories.
  • Butter, cheese, whole milk, ice cream, sour cream, lard, meats like bacon, and other animal products are brimming with saturated fat.
  • Coconut, palm, palm. Kernel, and other oils contain saturated fats that are solid at room temperature.
  • Do not use more than 5-8 teaspoons of fats or oils a day.
  • Limit dietary cholesterol intake to less than 300 mg daily.
  • Trans fats have the potential to increase LDL cholesterol and decrease HDL cholesterol, popularly known as good and bad cholesterol, respectively.
  • Abstain from fried foods, commercial baked goods (donuts, cookies, and crackers), processed foods, and hard margarines.

    Eating healthily does not mean depriving yourself; on the contrary, all of the above-mentioned food groups are very diverse both in terms of quantity and quality. Some of the most commonly consumed foodstuffs include:

Fruits

Apples

Apricots

Bananas

Cherries

Grapefruit

Grapes

Kiwi fruit

Lemons

Limes

Mangoes

Nectarines

Oranges

Peaches

Pears

Papaya

Pineapple

Plums

Prunes

Raisins

Tangerines

Berries

Melons

Mixed fruits

100% fruit juice

Strawberries

Blueberries

Raspberries

Cantaloupe

Honeydew

Watermelon

 

Fruit cocktail

Orange

Apple

Grape

Grapefruit

 

 

Vegetables

Dark green

Starchy

Red and orange

Beans and peas

Other

Bok choy

Broccoli

Collard greens

Leafy lettuce

Kale

Mesclun

Mustard greens

Romaine lettuce

Spinach

Turnip greens

Watercress

Cassava

Corn

Not dry, fresh cowpeas, field peas, or black-eyed peas

Green bananas

Green peas

Green lima beans

Plantains

Potatoes

Taro

Water chestnuts

Acorn squash

Butternut squash

Carrots

Hubbard squash

Pumpkin

Red peppers

Sweet potatoes

Tomatoes

Tomato juice

Black beans

Mature, dry black-eyed peas

Chickpeas

Kidney beans

Lentils

Navy beans

Pinto beans

Soy beans

Split peas

White beans

Artichokes

Asparagus

Avocado

Bean sprouts

Beets

Brussels sprouts

Cabbage

Cauliflower

Celery

Cucumbers

Eggplant

Green beans

Green peppers

Iceberg lettuce

Mushrooms

Okra

Onions

Turnips

Wax beans

Zucchini

 

Grains

Whole

Refined

Amaranth

Brown rice

Buckwheat

Bulgur

Millet

Oatmeal

Popcorn

Rolled oats

Quinoa

Sorghum

Triticale

Barley

Cornmeal

Rye

Wheat bread

Wheat crackers

Wheat pasta

Wheat sandwich buns rolls

Wheat tortillas

Wild rice

Wheat cereal flakes

Muesli

Cornbread

Corn tortillas

Couscous

Crackers

Flour tortillas

Grits

Noodles

Pitas

Pretzels

White bread

White sandwich buns and rolls

White rice

Spaghetti

Macaroni

Corn flakes

 

Protein

Meats

Poultry

Eggs

Beans and peas

Processed soy product

Nuts and seeds

Seafood

Beef

Ham

Lamb

Pork

Veal.

Bison

Rabbit

Venison

 

Chicken

Duck

Goose

Turkey

 

Chicken and duck eggs

Bean burgers

Black beans

Black-eyed peas

Chickpeas

Falafel

Kidney beans

Lentils

Mature lima beans

Navy beans

Pinto beans

Soy beans

Split peas

White beans

Tofu

Veggie burgers

Tempeh

Texturized vegetable protein

Almonds

Cashews

Hazelnuts

Mixed nuts

Peanuts

Peanut butter

Pecans

Pistachios

Pumpkin seeds

Sesame seeds

Sunflower seeds

walnuts

Catfish

Cod

Flounder

Haddock

Halibut

Herring

Mackerel

Pollock

Porgy

Salmon

Sea bass

Snapper

Swordfish

Trout

Tuna

Clams

Crab

Crayfish

Lobster

Mussles

Octopus

Oysters

Scallops

Squid

Shrimp

Anchovies

Sardines

 

Dairy

All fluid milk

Milk-based desserts

Cheese

Yogurt

Fat-free

Low-fat

Reduced fat

Whole

Flavored

Lactose reduced

Lactose-free

Pudding

Ice milk

Frozen yogurt

Ice cream

Cheddar

Mozzarella

Swiss

Parmesan

Ricotta

Cottage

American

Fat-free

Low-fat

Reduced fat

Whole milk

 

The key to a healthy diet lies in striking a good heart and nutrition balance. A registered dietitian can help you make wise choices from all the foods we’ve listed above. Fortunately, many of the higher fat foods in each group have a lower fat counterpart.

Dairy

Cereals, grains and pastas

Product

Alternative

Product

Alternative

Evaporated whole milk

Evaporated fat-free or reduced fat milk

Ramen noodles

 

Rice or noodles

Whole milk

Low-fat, reduced fat, or fat free milk

Pasta with white sauce

 

Pasta with red sauce

Ice cream

Sorbet, sherbet, low-fat, or fat-free frozen yogurt, or ice cream

Pasta with cheese sauce

Pasta with vegetables

Whipping cream

Imitation whipped cream

granola

Bran flakes, crispy rice, etc., cooked grits or oatmeal, reduced-fat granola

 

Sour cream

Plain low-fat yogurt

Meat fish and poultry

Cream cheese

Neufchatel or light cream cheese, or fat-free cream cheese

Product

Alternative

Cheddar, Swiss and jack cheese

Reduced-calorie cheese, low-calorie processed cheeses, fat free cheeses

Cold cuts or lunch meats

Low-fat cold cuts

American cheese

Fat-free American cheese

Hot dogs

Lower fat hot dogs

Regular cottage cheese

Low-fat or reduced fat cottage cheese

Bacon or sausage

Canadian bacon or lean ham

Whole milk mozzarella cheese

Part-skim milk, low-moisture mozzarella cheese

Regular ground beef

Extra-lean ground beef such as ground round or ground turkey

Whole milk ricotta cheese

Part-skim milk ricotta cheese

Chicken or turkey with skin, duck, or goose

Chicken or turkey without skin

Coffee cream or nondairy creamer

Low-fat or reduced-fat milk or fat-free dry milk powder

Oil-packed tuna

Water-packed tuna

Baked goods

Beef (chuck, rib, brisket)

Beef (round, loin) (trimmed of external fat)

Product

Alternative

Pork (spareribs, untrimmed loin)

Pork tenderloin or trimmed, lean smoked ham

Croissants, brioches

Hard French rolls or soft brown ’n serve rolls

Frozen breaded fish or fried fish

Fish or shellfish, unbreaded

Donuts, sweet rolls, muffins, scones, pastries

English muffins, bagels, reduced-fat or fat-free muffins or scones

Whole eggs

Egg whites or egg substitutes

Party crackers

Low-fat crackers, saltine or soda crackers

Frozen TV dinners containing more than 13 grams of fat per serving

Frozen TV dinners containing less than 13 grams of fat per serving and lower in sodium

Pound, chocolate, or yellow cake

Angel food, white, gingerbread cake

Chorizo sausage

Turkey sausage, drained well, vegetarian sausage

Cookies

Reduced-fat or fat-free cookies (graham crackers, ginger snaps, fig bars)

Fats, oils, salad dressings

Snacks and sweets

Product

Alternative

Product

Alternative

Regular margarine or butter

Light spread margarines, diet margarine, or whipped butter, tub or squeeze bottle

Ice cream

Frozen yogurt, frozen fruit or chocolate pudding bars

Regular mayonnaise

Light or diet mayonnaise or mustard

Custard or puddings

Puddings made with skim milk

Regular salad dressings

Reduced-calorie or fat-free salad dressings, lemon juice, or plain, herb flavored, or wine vinegar

Nuts

air-popped or light microwave popcorn, fruits, vegetables

Butter or margarine on toast or bread

Jelly, jam, or honey on bread or toast

 

 

Oils, shortening, or lard

Nonstick cooking spray for stir-frying or sautéing, applesauce or prune puree as a substitute for oil or butter

             

 

You may also find the following resources useful:

·         The Choose my plate eating plan from the United States Department of Agriculture

·         Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

·         The Heart Healthy Diet from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

·         Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) Diet also from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Find the most useful and helpful advice on nutrition and other health topics here at Discount Medical Supplies.