Happy Heart-Health Month! As February comes to a close, we don’t want you to miss a beat, especially when it comes to wholesome nutrition. Lucky for you, our team knows all the tips and tricks for healthy eating, by heart.
In fact, we have a “Heart Healthy” Registered Dietitian designed online meal plan specifically to help keep your cardiovascular system thumping and pumping without a hitch. This customizable plan is loaded with foods that you are probably already eating. Don’t believe us? Read on for some surprisingly heart-friendly secrets.
Secret #1: (Some) Fats Are Good for You
Yes, you did read that right. Now before you reach for that second slice of pizza, let us set the record straight.
The Bad Fats
A heart-healthy diet does NOT include an abundance of saturated and trans fats. These “bad fats” raise the level of cholesterol in your blood, which in turn raises your chance for heart disease and stroke. Here a few foods you’ll want to limit to give your heart some love.
● Fatty meats (beef, poultry with the skin)
● Dairy (cream, cheese, whole milk)
● Baked Goods (especially grain-based desserts)
● Fried Foods (French fries, breaded chicken)
Remember, you don’t have to completely deny yourself these items, but the American Heart Association suggests limiting saturated fats to about 140 calories out of a 2000 diet. Trans fats, on the other hand, should be avoided more actively with just a 20 calorie allowance.
The Good(!) Fats
In moderation, the unsaturated fats (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated) are essential for cell growth, organ protection and energy. Now, on to the all-important question: What foods are good sources for these heart-healthy fats? Glad you asked. Here are few great, fat-rich foods to add to your grocery list.
● Vegetable Oils (soybean oil, olive oil)
● Fatty Fish (herring, salmon, mackerel)
● Nuts and Seeds (walnuts, sunflower seeds, nut butters)
● Avocado (Craving some guacamole, anyone?)
Quick Tip: Saturated fats are typically solid at room temperature, whereas unsaturated fats are liquid.
Secret #2: Cutting Cholesterol Isn’t as Hard as You Think Our Heart Healthy meal plan cuts cholesterol to about 200 mg a day. What foods can you eat with these goals? The answer may surprise you.
Soy-Based Foods: While soy making the list may not be surprising in and of itself, the versatility of this cholesterol-decreasing plant is.
● Edamame: Young soy beans that make a great snack on their own or thrown in a stir fry or salad.
● Soy Milk: We like this option because it goes well with another heart-healthy drink, tea. Add a splash of soy milk to your morning tea for heart-healthy bonus points.
● Tofu: Whether you bake it, sauté it or stir fry it, tofu also makes a great, protein-rich addition to salads, soups and main dishes.
Lean Beef: That’s right. Recent studies say lean beef can also lower cholesterol when coupled with good fitness and a decreased intake of saturated fats. According to the American Heart Association, loin and round cuts will have the lowest fat content.
Can you believe it? We hope we’ve taken some of the mystery out of taking care of your ticker. Join Weight Loss Village now for instant access to personalized, Registered Dietician designed, online meal plans including the and our super-convenient WeightLoss2GO™mobile app. Included with your registration, this exclusive program keeps your meal plan, exercise log and grocery lists at your fingertips–no matter where your day takes you.
Check out our heart healthy online meal plan – .
Calorie Ranges 1300 to 2100
Menus are low in fat, especially saturated fat, and higher in unsaturated fats, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated, the “heart healthy” fats. Menus are low in cholesterol (up to 200 mg per day and include soy foods to help protect against heart disease by reducing cholesterol levels.