You’ve heard the facts before: heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. It bears repeating and paying attention to because while heart disease is fatal for so many, it is also preventable.
Many of the risk factors associated with heart disease (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity) can be tied back to an unhealthy diet. So, adopting better eating habits can help reduce your risk of a heart attack.
Choose Heart-Check Certified Foods
Making heart-healthier food choices has been made easier with the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check mark. Simply look for the name of the AHA along with their familiar red heart and white check mark on food packaging and menus. Foods with this symbol have been certified by the AHA as heart healthy.
Easy Ways to Incorporate More Vegetables Into Your Diet
We all know we need to eat more vegetables! Here are some ways to “sneak ” more veggies into your diet.
• Using a box grater, shred zucchini, beets and carrots into your muffin batter before baking.
•Add shredded carrots or squash to your pasta sauce.
•Replace half of the ground meat in your burger, meatloaf or meatball recipes with cooked, chopped mushrooms. Finely chop or use a food processor, sauté in a little olive oil and once cool, gently mix with your lean ground beef, turkey or chicken.
Keep Fresh Food Fresh, Longer
You shopped heart healthy at the store. Stretch your produce and food budget with proper storage.
•Don’t wash, cut or peel fruits and veggies (except lettuce and greens) until you are ready to eat.
•Keep apples, bananas and pears away from other produce as they give off ethylene gas which can make other produce ripen or rot faster. Store bananas on the countertop and apples and pears in the fridge.
•Store mushrooms in the fridge but keep in the container they came in. Leave them dry and unwashed until ready to use.
•Potatoes, onions, yams, hard squash (winter, acorn, spaghetti, butternut) and watermelon should be stored in a cool, dark place like your pantry or cellar.
•Store cucumbers, eggplant and peppers on the upper shelf in your refrigerator, which is the warmest part of the fridge.
Reduce your risk of heart attack by adopting better eating habits. Start today and purge your pantry, freezer and fridge of unhealthy foods, and stock up on better choices. A healthy diet truly is the heart of the matter.