February is American Heart Month

Well wouldn’t you know… I just received an email from Everyday Health telling me that this month, February, is American Heart Month. Since heart disease is the number one killer in the United States, eating the right foods can help your chances of having a healthier heart. The “right” foods. What is that? There are no right or wrong foods. There are foods that are better options then others though. The popular book, Eat This, Not That, hones in on this very principle.

"Eat This, Not That" will give you helpful alternatives to the "bad" foods you love!

For example, just on the cover you see two pizzas. One is from Pizza Hut (a 6” all Natural Pepperoni Pan Pizza), the other from Uno’s Chicago Grill (Chicago Classic Individual Deep Dish Pizza). Which would you choose?

The Pizza Hut pizza contains 610 calories and 27 grams of fat.

Uno’s contains 2310 calories and 165 grams of fat. Holy cow!!!!

Moving on.

Quoted from the article, Barbara Schneeman, Ph.D., director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Nutrition says, “

“Making better food choices for your health doesn’t mean you will need to exclude favorite foods. You can use one of the most valuable tools people have — the food label — to make dietary trade-offs. For example, if you eat a food that is high in saturated fat, you can make other choices during the day that are low in saturated fat to keep your total daily intake in balance by using the part of the food label called Nutrition Facts.”

Here are some more great tips.

  • Choose lean meats and poultry. Bake it, broil it, or grill it.
  • In a restaurant, opt for steamed, grilled, or broiled dishes instead of those that are fried or sautéed.
  • Look for foods low in saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol. Most of the fats you eat should come from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, such as those found in fish, nuts, and vegetable oils.
  • Look for foods high in potassium (unless your health care professional has told you to restrict the amount of potassium you eat). Potassium counteracts some of the effects of salt on blood pressure.
  • Choose foods and beverages low in added sugars. Read the ingredient list to make sure that added sugars are not one of the first few ingredients. (Ingredients are listed in descending order of weight. Those in the largest amounts are listed first.) Some names for added sugars include sucrose, glucose, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, maple syrup, and fructose.
  • Pick foods that provide dietary fiber, like fruits, beans, vegetables, and whole grains.

Last Updated: 01/29/2010

Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration


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