Florida Blue Shares Tasty Heart Healthy Tips

HeartMonthFebruary is National Heart Month and with heart disease being the No. 1 killer of women, it is a good time for each of us to start taking better care of our heart health.  If you think heart healthy food needs to taste bad in order to be good, think again.  Our friends at Florida Blue share 4 tricks to “keep your heart healthy and your stomach satisfied”:

Swap fats. Go for unsaturated fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated). Unsaturated fats are found in avocados, fish, canola oil, olive oil, nuts and seeds. Make it tasty by swapping mashed avocado for mayonnaise or salmon burgers for hamburgers.  You can also cut unhealthy fats by swapping applesauce for oil in baking and choosing a baked potato over fries.

Love your Fruits and Veggies. Aim for at least five cups each day (two cups fruits and three cups vegetables). Get vegetables in by adding them to sandwiches, soups and pasta dishes. Flavor vegetables with herbs or low-fat dips and use fruit in salads, desserts, cereals, oatmeal, or yogurt. Make it tasty by adding herbs to plain Greek yogurt for a dip, or using frozen fruit in hot oatmeal.

Check sodium content. Don’t get too hung up on avoiding the salt shaker. Processed foods and restaurant items contribute most of our sodium so it makes more sense that they be your focus. Check restaurant nutrition information for sodium before attending that luncheon or birthday dinner. Ideally, meals should contain less than 800 mg of sodium to help meet the recommended 2,400 mg per day set by the American Heart Association for healthy Americans 50 and under.

Eat more fiber. Choose whole grain pastas, rices, breads, cereals, bagels and wraps, and choose more beans, fruits and vegetables. Healthy women should aim for 25 grams of fiber per day, while men need 38 grams per day. Make fiber tasty by topping oatmeal with fresh fruit, adding nuts to a smoothie bowl, adding beans to soups and chili or making pizza with a whole-wheat crust.

Click here to read the entire blog from Florida Blue.