According to the latest study by the American Heart Association, over 64 million Americans have one or more forms of cardiovascular disease. And heart disease is the number one killer of men and women! Among the various causes that may be the cause for an unhealthy heart, improper food for the heart is a leading one. A healthy heart needs a balanced diet with adequate calories so as not to put extra weight. Check out our healthy heart recipes.
Healthy diet for a healthy heart
The slogan for a healthy heart diet is ‘cut back fat, increase fiber and soy product intake.’ A healthy diet is the first step in lowering cholesterol. Food rich in vegetables, rich in fiber and nuts, complex carbohydrates including roots, tubers, lentils and legumes, low fat diary products are good for the heart.
- Avoid fried foods. They are high in fat and will worsen cholesterol levels. For a healthy heart, one needs to limit all types of fat - saturated, polysaturated, trans-fatty acids and monounsaturated to no more than 30% of the total body calories. High fat foods should be balanced with low fat choices so that the daily intake of calories is well balanced. Limit saturated fat to no more than 10% of total calories.
- Avoid concentrated sources of organ meats, egg yolks and whole milk products.
- One can choose lean cuts of red meat, chicken and turkey; eggs without yolk, fish baked or broiled, skim milk, whole grain cereals, beans, pasta, potatoes and cereals.
- One needs to limit the intake of fatty cuts of red meat fried chicken, egg yolk, shrimp and other shell fish, whole milk, cream, ice cream, cream cheese, French fries, cream causes and avocado and coconut, butter, hydrogenated fat and ghee, sweets, doughnuts and pies surely don’t find place in healthy heart recipes.
- Some studies reveal that nuts, if consumed in moderation (1.5 ounces) everyday as part of low saturated fat and cholesterol diet help reduce LDL cholesterol.
- Foods with soluble fiber can be consumed. These include oat bran, oatmeal, peas, rice bran, barley, citrus fruits, strawberries and apple pulp. Beans and lentils are rich in fiber and proteins and they also help reduce LDL cholesterol levels. It is interesting to know that cholesterol levels fell nearly twice as far in participants who added beans and lentils along with more whole grain and vegetables to a low fat diet, according to a report published by the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2005.
- Certain kinds of fish contain high amounts of omega 3 fatty acids. These are fatty fishes like salmon, mackerel, herring and tuna. Omega 3 fatty acids help lower the level of triglycerides. The American Heart Association recommends that people consume at least 2 servings of fish per week.
- Soy compounds contain isoflavones which act like human hormones that regulate cholesterol levels. Therefore eating soy products can help protect against heart disease.
- Intake of food high in antioxidant vitamins may help prevent cholesterol from damaging the lining of the arteries. These include Vitamin C and E and the carotenoids such as beta carotene.
- Alcohol should be consumed in moderation. Alcohol consumption should be limited up to two small drinks or two glasses of beer or wine.
Healthy heart recipes
Delicious recipes which are significantly low fat, low cholesterol, low sodium dishes make for a healthy heart.
Fresh mushroom soup
Low sodium chicken broth 4 cups
Non fat dry milk 2 cups
Margarine 2 tablespoon
Chopped onion 1 cup
Garlic, cloves minced 2
Mushroom finely chopped 4 ounces
Flour 4 tablespoon
Dry sherry 1 tablespoon
Grated lemon rind 1/2 teaspoon
Parsley, fresh and finely chopped 1 1/2 tablespoon
Lemon juice 2 teaspoons
Combine broth and dry milk in a bowl and set aside. Heat margarine in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and sliced mushrooms. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes and allow the moisture to evaporate. Stir in flour. Blend chicken broth and milk mixture into mushroom mixture. Bring to a boil. Add sherry, lemon rind, parsley and lemon juice. Mix well and serve hot.
Beer Barley vegetable soup
Vegetable oil spray
Beef shank with all visible fat removed
Salt to taste
Black pepper finely ground to taste
Potatoes diced and peeled
Celery thickly sliced
Carrots sliced thinly
Preheat broiler and lightly spray the pan with vegetable oil spray. Place beef on prepared pan and place pan on broiler. Broil meat for about 5 minutes on each side. In a large stock pot, combine meat, water, onion, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Cook for 3 hours or until the meat is tender. Now remove meat from pot and set aside. Strain broth and skim off fat. Cut meat into pieces. Place strained broth, meat and remaining ingredients in stock pot and bring to a boil. Reduce and simmer in heat for about 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Serve hot.
Marinated soybean salad
Dry soybeans 1 1/2 cups
Garlic powder 1/8 teaspoon
Honey 1/3 cup
White pepper 1/8 teaspoon
Vinegar 1/3 cup
Green onion 3/4 cup
Salt to taste
Dill pickle chopped 2/3 cup
Crushed basil 1/4 teaspoon
Celery chopped 1/2 cup
Cover soybeans with water for 2 hours in a bowl. Place soybeans in a large kettle and add about 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat and simmer partially covered for about 1 1/2 hours till soybeans become tender. Combine honey, vinegar, salt, basil, green onion and dill pickle. Chill at least for 4 hours before serving, stirring occasionally. Garnish with parsley before serving.
Fresh vegetable salad
Mushrooms small 1/2 pound
Cherry tomatoes 1 pound
Asparagus 1 pound
Remove outer leaves of lettuce, separate stems from mushrooms and tomatoes. Break cauliflower into florets and trim stalk end from asparagus. Rinse all the vegetables except mushrooms. Drain well and wipe mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Place inner leaves of lettuce upright around the sides of a deep round salad bowl. Arrange remaining ingredients neatly in the centre. Cover and refrigerate to chill thoroughly before serving. You can add your favorite low-fat dressing.
Greek Pasta salad
Pasta, routini 1 12 ounces
Cucumber diced 2/3 cup
Green onions, sliced thinly 1/2 cup
Cheese 4 ounces
Baby beans 1 1/4 cup
Red bell pepper diced 1 cup
Mayonnaise light 1/4 cup
Cottage cheese low fat 1/2 cup
Non fat yogurt 1/2 cup
Dill fresh and finely chopped 1 tablespoon
Ground black pepper 1/4 teaspoon
Cook pasta in boiling water for about 7 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and place in a large bowl. Add cucumber, green onions, cheese, peas and bell pepper and set aside. In a blender combine mayonnaise, cottage cheese, yogurt, green onion tops. Process till completely smooth. Add dill and black pepper and process briefly. Pour over pasta mixture and stir to mix well. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled.
Egg, spinach and bacon sandwiches
Vegetable oil spray
Skim milk 1/4 cup
Bacon bits 1 tablespoon
Black pepper 1/8 teaspoon
Bread rounds, split cross wise
Spinach leaves rinsed and patted dry 4 1 ounce
Cheese low fat sliced 4 1 ounce
Spray a medium skillet with vegetable oil and set aside. In a small bowl, stir together egg substitute, bacon bits and pepper. Place skillet over medium heat and add egg mixture. Cook without stirring until mixture begins to set at the bottom and around the edges. Using a large spoon, lift and fold partially cooked eggs so uncooked portion flows underneath. Continuously cook for 3 minutes till eggs turn glossy and moist. Line each pita pocket with spinach and a slice of cheese. Spoon the warm egg mixture with pita pockets. This recipe relies on vegetable oil spray to keep foods from sticking without much fat.
Low Fat Fish
Olive oil 2 teaspoon
Onion finely chopped 2 tablespoon
Garlic and minced clove 1
Fish fillets 1 lb
Mushrooms fresh and sliced 8 oz
Thyme coarsely chopped 1/2 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Dry red wine 1/4 cup
Cornstarch 2 teaspoon
In a 12 x 8 inch microwavable dish combine oil, onion and garlic. Microwave on high for about 2 minutes. Place fish on top of onion mixture. Place mushroom, tomatoes, thyme salt and pepper on top of fish. In a small bowl, combine wine and cornstarch. Pour over fish. Cover with a waxed paper. Microwave on high until the fish flakes easily with a fork.
Oat bran 2 cup
Sugar, firmly packed 1/4 cup
Baking powder 1 teaspoon
Salt 1/2 teaspoon
Nutmeg 1 teaspoon
Skim milk 1/2 cup
Egg whites, 2
Honey 1/4 cup
Vegetable oil 2 tablespoon
Vanilla 1/2 teaspoon
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Coat muffin pan with cooking spray or line with paper baking cups. Combine oat bran, baking sugar, baking powder and salt (or substitute) and nutmeg. Add milk, egg whites and oil. Stir in vanilla. Do not beat the mix. Bake 15 -20 minutes until lightly browned. For variations, one can use 1/2 cup raisins, a mashed banana, 1/2 cup blueberries, chopped apple tossed with cinnamon 1 teaspoon.
Orange juice 1 1/2 cups chilled
Vanilla soy milk 1 cup
Tofu silken 1/3 cup
Dark honey 1 tablespoon
Grated orange zest 1 teaspoon
Vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon
Orange segments peeled 4
In a blender combine orange juice, soy milk, tofu, orange zest, vanilla and ice cubes. Blend until smooth and frothy in about 30 seconds. Pour into a tall, chilled glass and garnish with an orange segment.