February is a Heart Health Month. Our resolutions to eat healthier may have gone by the wayside. It’s time to re-consider what we put in out belly to live a heart healthy life. The good news is that tweaking our diet is the first line of attack for better heart health. Delicious heart healthy choices are up and down every grocery aisle.
Dr. Nimali Fernando, of The Doctor Yum Project shares these ideas about where to begin.
Here’s how to make your heart love you
Reach for whole grain toast, whole grain cereals and don’t forget a serving of vegetables and/or fruit. To get in even more servings, try a quick and healthy fruit and veggie smoothie
Pack a quick and healthy lunch that includes items like salads, hummus and veggies, tuna with wholegrain crackers or bread. Make homemade low-sodium soups ahead of time.
Select the seafood. It is loaded with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Other good options are beans, salads with dressing, quinoa, whole grains, veggie burgers, chickpeas, lentils, and filling half of your plate with fruits and vegetables. Try to reduce processed foods, and fast food (which is often loaded with sugar and salt), high sodium foods, and unhealthy oils by cooking more at home.
Go for unsalted nuts, fruits and veggies, seeds, rice cakes, bell pepper slices, vegetables and hummus, or whole grain toast with all natural peanut butter. Forget about the chips and sweets.
Reach for for water, sparkling water, plain soymilk, unsweetened coffee and tea, or water steeped with fruit. Say no to sugary drinks.
- Dining out.
Look at the menu online before dining out. Find dishes that are lower in sodium and fat content, baked, grilled, or broiled, rather than ones that are fried. Choose seafood, fish, lean meats, vegetarian options, vegetable dishes, and beans. Portion sizes for restaurant meals tend to be oversized, so box a portion of your meal for lunch the next day.
What else can you do?
- If you smoke… Quit
- If you drink too much alcohol . . . Cut back
- If you are a couch potato… Get up and move!
About The Doctor Yum Project
Founded by Dr. Nimali Fernando, The Doctor Yum Project is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to transforming the lives of families and communities by providing an understanding of the connection between food and overall health, as well as empowering them with the tools to live a healthy life. They offer a variety of community programs to help with those efforts. They are located in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and feature an instructional kitchen and teaching garden for holding classes. To learn more, visit the site at: www.doctoryum.org.