•Herbs and spices bring out the essence in food and will help you cut down on sodium (salt).
•Whole grains are hearty sources of fiber and other nutrients. Regular consumption of fiber-rich foods help lower cholesterol in some people. Studies have shown that diets rich in whole-grain foods can help reduce the risk of heart disease.
•Fruits and vegetables are low in calories and full of vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. Fresh, frozen, canned or dried, they’re a delicious must-have for any healthy kitchen.
•Lean and extra-lean protein is best. If you enjoy red meat, select the leanest cuts, such as sirloin, chuck and loin. Other lean protein choices include skinless poultry and seafood. Beans and tofu make excellent substitutes.
•Healthier fats, such as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, still need to be used sparingly. Most types of fat contain about 120 calories per tablespoon. Choose oils such as canola or olive and use soft margarines with no trans fats.
Look for the American Heart Association heart-check mark on food packaging to find heart-healthy foods. Visit www.heartcheckmark.org to build your free grocery list.
– Courtesy of Family Features