Five Ways to Be Heart Healthy in the Kitchen
When you think of foods that are bad for your heart, your mind probably wanders back to a state fair stall where you encountered a deep fried terror or artery-clogging delight. However, it’s not just the obvious “bad” foods that deserve caution. Below you’ll find five ways you can become a heart-conscious cook. Trust us; your ticker will thank you.
1. Limit Saturated Fat
Cooking oils are unavoidable in the kitchen, but the type of oil is up to you! While canola oil is full of saturated fats that can drive up your cholesterol, avocado oil, a monounsaturated fat, can do the trick without the risk! Other plant-based options like olive oil, vegetable oil, and peanut oil are also excellent alternatives that can help lower your risk of heart disease.
2. Crack Down on the Salt Shaker
Attention saltaholics: Did you know in culinary school its textbook knowledge to season one pound of meat with one teaspoon of salt? As it turns out, many of us are dowsing our dishes in salt when we’re really trying to flavor our food. Try a few of these options the next time your hand starts reaching for the salt shaker:
- A combination of fresh and dried herbs and spices
- Lemon, lime, and red wine vinegar
- Chipotles in adobo
- Mrs. DashⓇ salt additive
3. Choose Lean Meats
Fat is an essential micronutrient that’s necessary for a healthy diet, but too much can raise your saturated fat intake, raising your cholesterol. Choosing a leaner cut can help keep the balance of your meal in check. Here are some of our top picks:
- Top round steak
- Lean ground beef (90% lean 10% fat)
- Chicken (without the skin)
- Ground turkey (90% lean 10% fat)
4. Commit to Dining In
Preparing your meals at home can help your wallet and your health. Restaurant quality meals generally have a higher sodium and fat content, where at home you can stay in control of what goes into your body. Try cooking your proteins on the grill or in the oven to allow the fat to be skimmed off without impacting the flavor.
5. Become a Fan of Fiber
Fiber helps slow down the rate that sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream and helps keep us full longer, aiding in reducing the risk of heart disease and maintaining a healthy weight. The recommended daily amount is 25-30 grams a day.
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