Food can be both delicious and good for your heart…if you know what to choose. Many foods are full of cholesterol (and remember calories too), but there are lots of low-cholesterol options. One thing to keep in mind, cholesterol comes from an animal product. Therefore, fill your plate with delicious and heart-healthy foods:
- Lean Meats: skinless chicken or turkey, lean beef (sirloin, chuck, round, loin), or the “ other white meat”--pork tenderloin or pork loin.
- Light Dairy: Dairy products are calcium-rich, but can also be higher in fat. Choose fat-free or low-fat dairy products like milk, cheese, cream and yogurt. (yogurt with granola.)
- Fiber: Choose whole-grain products like whole wheat bread, brown rice, and whole wheat pasta. Include 25-30 grams of fiber in your diet each day.
- Fruits and Vegetables: Include at least 4-5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. The more variety consumed, the better. Great cherries are in season this time of year.
- Fish: Eat at least 2 servings of fish each week.
- Avoid: Fatty meats, processed meats, high-sugar drinks, cookies and other desserts and chips; however, use discretion and moderation.
Did you know…
Research has indicated that garlic lowers total cholesterol and triglycerides (blood fat) levels, helping prevent clogged arteries. “Two to three cloves a day, cut the odds of subsequent heart attacks in half for heart disease patients,” says Bauman. “Garlic also tops the National Cancer Institute’s list of potential cancer-preventive foods.” Whole baked garlic helps detoxify the body of heavy metals like mercury (from fish) and cadmium. Garlic also acts as an antibacterial and antiviral, boosting resistance to stress-induced colds and infections.
PS: In case you’re concerned about garlic breath, chew on a sprig of parsley.
Source: BCOA News 2010 Vol 38 Num 8