Diet and lifestyle have a huge impact on the health of our heart, which is really empowering. Today I shared FOODS for a healthy heart on ABC, Lowcountry Live.
The foundation of a heart-healthy diet
Fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans, lean protein, fish and healthy fats make up the foundation of a heart-healthy diet. I always say eat a rainbow of produce so that you get range of phytonutrients. Whole grains like brown rice and oats have fiber, which has been shown to help lower cholesterol levels. And then you want to choose the right fats…
The fats that we eat, including cooking oils, have an impact on our cholesterol levels, which we want to maintain within a healthy range. The American Heart Association recommends replacing saturated fats like that found in butter with unsaturated fats like that found in olive oil, corn oil, and canola oil, for example. Doing so may reduce the risk of heart disease by up to 30%. Corn oil has a high smoke point so it works for variety of cooking applications. Olive oil, on the other hand has a lower smoke point so it works well in a homemade salad dressings.
Beans are good for your heart
Beans are a heart-healthy food – they are rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals and free of saturated fat. HUMMUS is my favorite way to enjoy them. Lantana Hummus is really unique because it made with a variety of beans including chickpeas, black beans, white beans and lentils and they have bold and colorful flavors like sriracha carrot and cucumber. Enjoy them with whole grain crackers and veggies, for a heart healthy snack.
A beverage with benefits
TEA is the most widely consumed beverage in the world besides water – there are a lot of benefits associated with it, especially matcha which is a fine green powder made from green tea leaves. I shared products from Matcha LOVE including their powders for lattes, tea bags, ready to drink teas, and culinary matcha, which I use in waffles. It’s potent source of antioxidants including catechins, which are frequently associated with heart health.