February 2, 2011

Dietary Goals to Prevent Heart Disease

Wheatley, Valerie

By Valerie Wheatley, R.D., L.D., L.D.N
Hy-Vee Registered Dietician
(309) 787-0273

Since cardiovascular disease is still the leading cause of death in America, the health of your heart should still be of primary importance. Besides, February is American Heart Month so it’s a great time to review what we can do to help prevent heart disease. You can reduce your risk with a few dietary and lifestyle modifications. Let’s review…

1. Aim for an overall healthy diet.
• Consume a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
• Choose whole-grain, high-fiber foods.
• Consume fish, especially oily fish, twice weekly.
• Limit intake of saturated fat, trans fats and cholesterol by choosing lean meats and vegetable proteins, fat-free or low-fat dairy products and minimizing your intake of partially hydrogenated fats.
• Minimize beverages and foods with added sugar.
• Prepare foods with little or no salt.
• If you consume alcohol, do so in moderation.
• Remember to follow these same guidelines when you eat away from home.
2. Aim for a healthy weight. Balance your calorie intake with your physical exercise. If you need to lose weight, take in fewer calories than you burn off. To maintain a healthy weight, balance the intake and output.
3. Aim for recommended levels of blood fats (LDL, HDL and triglycerides). Both diet and exercise can lower the “bad” fats and increase the “good” fats.
4. Aim for normal blood pressure. Both diet and exercise can help you manage blood pressure.
5. Aim for normal blood sugars. Both diet and exercise can help you achieve normal blood sugars.
6. Be physically active. Don’t sit when you can stand, don’t stand when you can walk, don’t walk when you can run. Try to get some exercise every day.
7. Avoid use of and exposure to tobacco. This has been called the most important step you can take for your health.

No health advice can take the place of your health care provider so please check out your heart-health status with them. They know what goals should be specifically yours. When you understand the important role that food plays in improving your heart health, go to www.hy-vee.com for hundreds of heart-healthy recipes. The recipe that follows is so simple and a delicious way to incorporate more fish in your diet.

Salmon with Peach Salsa Serves 4.

All you need:
4 (4 oz) salmon fillet
1/3 C. chopped cucumber
1 tsp lemon pepper, divided
1 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1 C. chopped fresh or thawed frozen peaches
2 tsp lime juice

All you do:

1. Preheat grill or broiler.
2. Broil on greased unheated rack of broiler pan 4 inches from heat for 5 minutes per 1/2-inch thickness.
3. Meanwhile, for salsa, combine peaches, cucumber, cilantro, remaining ? teaspoon lemon pepper and lime juice.
4. Serve cooked salmon topped with peach salsa.

Nutrition information per serving: 220 calories, 3 g carbohydrate, 65 mg cholesterol, 1 g dietary fiber, 12 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 23 g protein, 150 mg sodium, 0 g sugar, 0 g trans fats.

Valerie Wheatley is a registered dietician at Hy-Vee. She can be reached at (309) 787-0273.